At Waters Family Chiropractic, Mandurah WA, we believe in the K.I.S.S principle - keep it simple, stupid! The more simple and easy an exercise/ stretch is, the more likely we are to do it! Even better - a recent study has found increasing benefits for people who perform a particular type of neck exercise called ‘isometric neck exercises.’ The association between increased muscle strength and decreased pain has already been well documented, however this latest study has shown that athletes who performed these simple exercises also had a significantly reduced risk for concussion. Now that's sure to prevent a few headaches! With a fair proportion of Mandurah residents playing all types of sports, from swimming, to footy, to horse riding, there should be lots of people who would benefit from this type of exercise, whether they are under Chiropractic care or not!
Before we give you the low-down, here is a mini lesson! Isometric exercises are slightly different to regular exercises as they rely on a different type of muscle contraction to most common exercises. There are actually 3 different types of muscle contraction:
- Concentric muscle contraction is the most common and obvious way a muscle works which is by contracting and shortening (e.g. if you bend your elbow to lift a weight, your biceps does a concentric contraction).
- Eccentric muscle contraction is essentially the reverse action and occurs when the muscle contracts in resistance to lengthening (e.g. if you slowly extend your elbow to lower a weight, your biceps will do an eccentric muscle contraction).
- And lastly an isometric muscle contraction occurs when a muscle contracts without changing its length (e.g. if you push against an immoveable wall, your biceps will do an isometric contraction).
The best thing about isometric neck exercises is that they are easy to do and require no equipment, so can be done from home. Isometric neck exercises only require the use of your hands to provide resistance against the head. This exercise can be performed sitting or standing, with your head resting in neutral position.
-> Place your palm onto either the front, back or side of the head and match the resistance between the head and palm, while continuing to breathe. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat daily, its really that simple!!
If you have any questions regarding your neck pain, you should seek the help of a qualified, primary healthcare professional in person, so that they may properly assess your condition. You should not continue with these exercises if they cause increased pain or discomfort.
Waters Family Chiropractic \\ 3a/106 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah, WA, 6210 \\ 0403 903 690
Source: Hrysomalis C. 2016. Neck Muscular Strength Training, Performance And Sport Injury Risk: A Review. Sports Medicine.