Car Accident Neck Exercises
Dr Barry Marks, Chiropractor Orange County, CA
“How Do I get My Neck Back to Normal?”
We will assume for the sake of simplicity that you have concluded your Initial Relief Care treatment. This treatment has probably taken you anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. Your pain should now be about 70% better than when you were first injured. It is now time for the second phase of care, which is called Spinal Rehabilitation care.
The two parts to Spinal Rehabilitation Care are:
1. In office visits at roughly twice each week for approximately 4-12 weeks
2. At home care daily, 7 days a week until curve returns to normal
Your in office visits will consist of:
·Various forms of cervical (neck) traction that depends on how severe your loss of curve is to mold your neck into the proper curvature.
·Isoelectronic muscle rehabilitation also known as Russian Stimulation, to increase muscle strength in the back or your neck and shoulders.
·Myofascial release (stretching, deep muscle massage, etc) to remove muscle tension
·Chiropractic spinal adjustments to maintain proper joint alignment and freedom of movement to allow your neck to be curved.
Your “homework” will include:
·General stretching of the neck and upper back that you were assigned in Initial Relief Care to loosen the muscles followed by…
·Head translation exercise to improve upper neck motion and stability
·Neck extension exercise to strengthen the neck
·Gravity traction to stretch the muscles in the front of the neck and mold the neck into the proper curvature.
·Ice pack to relieve inflammation caused by exercise
There are 3 exercises I recommend for the neck if there is a reduced curve on x-ray following an auto accident.
Exercise 1: Head Translation
Stand or sit in a comfortable position. See figure 1.
Imagine your chin being pushed backward, while your neck stays stationary. You should feel increased tension in the upper neck region as your head slides backwards. See figure 2. Hold position for 20 seconds
Return to normal position, figure 1.
Now stick chin outward while neck remains still and hold for 20 seconds. See figure 3.
Repeat movement from position 2 to position 3, 10 times.