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September 2014 Blog – A Pain in the Neck!

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Rachel Kili Physiotherapy Blog!

Simply September

Hello and welcome! This month I am focusing on your neck; how best to look after it, why it may be hurting and ideas to try to put things right. Yes it’s been raining, a little, and when it does because it does occasionally, we are more likely to hang our head and shoulders down. In contrast when the sun is shining and the skies are blue we are more inclined to walk tall and hold our heads up high.

So whatever the weather make yourself more aware of your posture. There is always so much to see if you stop and take the time to look up.

However, if you are thinking “easy for you to say, I avoid looking up (or left or right) because it is becoming awkward and uncomfortable” read on. This blog may help you understand why and what you can do about it.

Whether you look up or down or all around consider your head as if it were the “waggy” tail of a dog. The motion of the dog’s body in general terms, dictates the tail’s movement. Our heads are similarly influenced. Our torso and its alignment, its flexibility and strength all determine how our head and neck work. So if your body is stiff for example, and you look up then your neck has to move further than it is designed to, to supplement the movement the rest of your body should be contributing to that action. In turn, if the neck works harder it endures unnecessary stress and strain. This can then lead to aches and pains which seem ‘to appear from nowhere’ but in fact have been lying dormant for some time waiting to appear.

So what are the warning signs your neck and body are out of sync?
1) You twist your whole body to talk to someone sitting next to you, not simply your head
2) You have started to use your mirrors more to reverse your car instead of looking back
3) It’s an effort to hold your arms up; hanging out washing, cutting hedges, reaching shelves
4) You wish someone could stretch you out after sitting for any length of time.

My stickmen are ready and willing to demonstrate what you can do to try and help put things right. Remember move slowly and gently and never push into pain.

stickman1) Tilt body right and then left:
Sit back on bum bones
Stay on bum bones while raising breastbone upwards
Arms across chest
Facing straight ahead tilt right shoulder down towards right hip x5
Now repeat and squeeze your bum before you tilt. Can you go further?
Repeat on left x5




stickman2) Rotate body right and then left:
Sit back on bum bones
Stay on bum bones while raising breastbone upwards
Arms across chest
Keeping nose over point where arms cross –
– Rotate from waist to right x5
– Rotate from waist to left x5
Now repeat and squeeze your bum before you rotate. Can you go further?


stickman3) Arms out stretched
Sit back on bum bones
Stay on bum bones while raising breastbone upwards
Arms out stretched, shoulders down


Now it’s your turn – no time like the present!
Take a moment now to look up then look back at the screen. Now sit back on your bum bones then fully straighten your spine and look up again. Finally do all the above while squeezing your bum.

I know I know it’s all bums bums bums with me, but it’s because they are so important but so misunderstood. Have a heart and give your buttocks a second thought. They might just become your new best friend scaffolding and protecting your body while you move. It’s possible you have ignored your bum for years while it has been waiting, hoping against all hope that this glorious day would come when it is called to action. Be the person that realises that hope!

My final thoughts for you:
I realise that this blog is only touching the tip of the iceberg with neck complaints. Therefore, I will be including further advice in the future to cover more aspects of this complex area.

Try to associate doing exercises that are most beneficial to you with a daily activity so it acts as a useful prompt. Remember little and often is best; it regularly reminds your body what it should be doing and because it only takes a few seconds, you are probably more likely to do it. It proves my point that addiction can be a good thing, just like chocolate.

Next month – your shoulders! Are there warning signs you could be doing something about or do you already have a problem? See what you can learn.

As always, if you have any questions regarding any of the above or regarding some other health issue, please feel free to contact me either by email or through the contact form on my website. Alternatively give me a call. It’s always good to talk!

Tel – 07714278760

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