CHRONIC NECK PAIN: HOW IMPORTANT IS STRETCHING?
Although it is not always the case (HERE), most people who struggle with CHRONIC NECK PAIN have some degree of inability to move their neck through the SIX NORMAL RANGES OF MOTION. When you visit the average physician, chiro, therapist, etc, they usually realize this. Of course, the logical thing to do is prescribe stretches to restore the restricted ranges of motion back to normal.
In most cases this approach is appropriate. For a significant number of you, however, this standardized approach will not work, or at least not work very well or very long. The reason is quite simple; people are putting the cart in front of the horse (HERE and HERE).
As long as your neck is “TETHERED,” you can forget about it moving properly. This is true no matter how many stretches you do or how many adjustments you get. The truth is, without REALLY AND TRULY addressing the SCAR TISSUE, FIBROSIS, and FASCIAL ADHESION in your neck and upper back, any hope of resolution (or even improvement) may be a pipe dream (sorry, but living on “THE BIG FIVE” doesn’t count as either).
Plainly stated, this is why the two steps (PHASE I & PHASE II) are named as such. Disrupting the order of treatment in patients with long-standing neck pain, and you’ll likely get less than stellar results (THIS is what “stellar” results look like).
What this means as far as stretching is concerned; if your injury is new (HERE are some of the common ways that Fasica and other tissues such as MUSCLES, TENDONS, and LIGAMENTS are injured), you certainly need to get things as mobile as you can, as quickly as is safe. However, for the very reasons I gave a couple paragraphs ago, if your injury is “old,” stretching may prove to be an aggravation or trigger for your pain.
And for those of you whose neck issues are just the tip of the iceberg, I have some information for you as well. Make sure to take a look at THIS POST to see what it might take to get your life back on track if you are struggling with chronic illness on top of everything else. Oh, be sure to like, share or follow on FACEBOOK while you are at it.