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The Do’s and Don’ts of Neck Exercises – A Guide to Recovery After an Injury

woman holds neck in pain

Neck pain is a common complaint and often results from car accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries and should be treated at the onset to prevent further damage.

The problem is it is difficult to find advice and information about neck exercises online because many of the same exercises that improve neck strength can also injure it. However, you must know the dos and don’ts during and after your neck injury.

In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to recover from an injury.

What You Should Avoid During Recovery

  1. Don’t Try to Treat Yourself

If you’re in pain, it can be tempting to find ways to relieve the discomfort. But, you should avoid self-treatment and see a doctor, especially when it comes to neck injuries. That’s because many people think they know how to treat themselves and do so without medical advice.

You can also follow up with your agency for a settlement to cover your medical bills if an insurance policy covers your injury, say, car insurance from an accident. However, injury settlements depend on many factors and are something your insurance agency will consider when determining a neck injury settlement amount. 

  1. Don’t Aggravate the Pain

The average person doesn’t usually know how to determine when neck pain is a severe health issue. However, doctors know how much pressure is acceptable when performing certain movements or procedures on your neck.

They also know which movements will cause further damage and which ones will help bring relief from pain or inflammation. You should, therefore, only perform exercises as instructed by your doctor or physical therapist because doing otherwise could lead to more severe problems down the road.

  1. Don’t Forget To Maintain Good Posture

The first thing you need to do when recovering from your injury is to maintain good posture. Make sure that you keep your head in line with your shoulders and hips at all times.

If you notice that your head is tilting forward or backwards, this means that you are putting strain on your neck muscles and ligaments, which can lead to further injury if left untreated.

What To Do While Recovering From A Neck Injury

  1. Stretch Your Neck in Multiple Directions (Forward, Sideways, Back)

It’s important to remember that while you’re recovering from a neck injury, it’s important not to lose range of motion. You should still be able to move your head in all directions without pain. 

That means that while doing your neck exercises, you’ll want to stretch your neck in multiple directions: forward, sideways, and back.

  1. Maintain Your Range of Motion

As mentioned above, it’s vital to maintain the range of motion you had before your injury so that you don’t lose any strength or flexibility in your neck muscles.

If you have limited mobility in one direction, for example if you can’t turn your head left or right try doing some gentle movements with a towel or small resistance band tied around your forehead.

These exercises will help keep the range of motion active even though you’re not moving as far as usual during everyday activities.

  1. Work Out the Muscles Surrounding Your Neck

When you injure your back or neck, it’s common for the pain to radiate from the injured area down into your extremities. That’s because many of the muscles surrounding your spine and neck are also affected by any damage done to those areas.

For example, if you suffer from nuchal rigidity, it’s not uncommon to experience above-average stiffness or pain while moving your neck.

While this condition itself won’t affect the use of exercise equipment (such as neck traction), it can cause pain when performing certain movements that require flexing and extending the neck.

Neck Exercises Can Be Helpful but Can Also Cause Pain if Done Incorrectly

Neck pain can be debilitating, and if you’re recovering from a neck injury, start as soon as possible to reduce the chances of never fully recovering.

And suppose you’ve suffered a neck injury. In that case, these exercises are likely going to be some of the most helpful for adding to your recovery, but always consult your doctor before doing anything new.

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