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Neck Pain Healing

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Neck pain is often associated with stress, poor posture and injury. While many people receive different diagnostic names for their pain such as arthritis, herniated/bulging/degenerative discs, stenosis, whiplash, "tight muscles", repetitive strain, etc., almost every case of neck pain is ultimately related to some fault in posture or body mechanics. 


Many people find only temporary relief in their attempt to "stretch out" tight neck and shoulder muscles, receive massage and other soft tissue treatments (including manipulation), take restorative yoga classes, and try "strengthening or posture exercise", only to have their pains return. In many cases, these stretches and exercises only strengthen the mechanical dysfunction that caused the neck pain in the first place. Some even have neck surgery, only to find no true lasting relief. This is because the root causes of neck pain (individual specific body mechanics and conditioning)  have not been addressed.


Dr. Remy enjoys a 93% success rate in dealing with neck pain of all different types because of his unique insight into his patient's posture and mechanics. He has found that once neck and shoulder posture, and local muscle imbalances are corrected, many chronic pains finally begin to improve.  Other cases respond to changes in the hips or feet. What most neck pain sufferers fail to realize is that the neck is on top of the entire musculoskeletal system, and as such is greatly influenced by the mechanics and posture foundation below it.


Forward head and rounded shoulder posture top the list of common culprits in the causes of neck pain, but many generic stretches and posture exercises fail to bring lasting relief because they are not addressing the complete mechanical "root causes" of the problem.  Mistakes abound in the typical advice and exercises chosen for neck relief, including trying to stretch out tight neck muscles due to forward head posture. Think about what most people do when they feel neck tension after long bouts of forward head posture- they try to stretch out elongated muscles on the back of the neck by stretching the head even more forward.  Is it any wonder why this type of ludicrous approach fails to bring lasting relief?


Any approach that fails to address the unique posture and body mechanics that cause neck pain is doomed to fail. Without using specific exercises for those unique problems, the stress on the  various neck structures never resolves.  Muscles, ligaments, and fascia from the hips, legs, shoulders and lower back can all affect the neck. It is only through a complete analysis of the entire body structure and function that the right exercises can be used to decrease neck stress and stimulate proper healing.


We have included a few sample exercises from our Neck Pain Healing Exercise Program TM  belowFor a complete analysis of your mechanics and posture/alignment that may be affecting your neck pain, as  well as all of the healing exercises available for your condition, see our Pain Free & Fit TM Neck Pain Healing Exercise Program. Again, our exercises are not intended to diagnose or treat your condition, and some exercises may worsen your pain, so please consult with your doctor before beginning this, or any exercise program.


 Healing Exercise for Neck Pain

Sample Neck Pain Relief Exercise

This exercise is good for pain and muscular tension at the back of the head and neck, as well as across the top of the shoulder blades. While the model above is performing this in a seated, leaning back position, beginners can alternatively perform this standing while looking in a mirror. Begin by gently pulling your shoulder blades back so that the front of your shoulders are no longer rounded, but flat in contour. One shoulder will likely need more correction than the other. Next, very gently tense your shoulder blades down toward your hips, tensing slightly more on the side of your high shoulder, if you have one. Slightly tuck your chin under your jaw and glide your head straight back until you feel the mildest stretch or pull at the back of your head or neck.  Finally, if your head naturally tilts to one side, position it so your eyes and ears are more level. The amount of movement in all of these corrections is small and must be comfortable. In fact, the exact position should feel relieving to your pain, or should provide a softening of any excess tension or "knot" in your neck muscles. You may even wish to slightly turn your face to one side or the other to feel the greatest release.  Experiment with slight changes in all of the above corrections to find the most comfortable combination or "sweet spot". Hold for 90 seconds and very slowly release back to your natural position. This exercise resets the tension in your neck and upper back muscles. If you find it helps, try holding the posture more often during the day to prevent excessive muscle tension from building up.

Sample Neck Fibrosis Stretch

This stretch targets the SCM muscle which attaches the back of your head to your collar bone.  It is commonly tight and fibrotic in most people with chronic neck pain as  a result of forward head posture which shortens this muscle. To stretch the right SCM, turn your face to the right side, lean your left ear towards your left shoulder, and tilt your head slightly backawrds until you feel the mildest stretch on the right side of your neck.  Hold this position for 15-60 seconds until the slight stretch sensation resolves. A second stretch can then be attempted by slightly increasing the turn, lean, and tilt until the slight stretch is felt again. After another 15-60 seconds, slowly return to a neutral position and repeat to the other side to stretch the left SCM. This stretch often helps in any type of neck pain that is related to forward head posture.

Sample Neck Corrective Conditioning Exercise

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Regardless of exact diagnosis, many neck pains are mechanically aggravated by shoulder blade and upper arm muscular imbalances, as well as neck posture. This is because many muscles and fascia connect the shoulders to the neck, and altering tension or position in one area, over long periods of time, will definitely affect the other. This exercise builds up the endurance strength of these regions to be able to support proper neck stability during daily activities and decreases the resultant stress to the neck.  


In the standing or seated position, comfortably engage the posture and mechanical corrections that you identified in your body analysis. Pinch your shoulder blades together (emphasizing the side of your more rounded shoulder), and rotate your upper arms outward (emphasizing the side of greater internal arm rotation identified on your analysis).  Lift your chest upwards and tighten your buttocks together (emphasizing the side of greater buttock weakness identified on analysis). Pull your face in towards the back of your head while correcting any side tilting or rotation tendency of your head or neck. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and repeat for repetitions. Progress can be made by increasing the number of repetitions, or the hold time of each "rep"  as you practice this every other day.

Pain Free & Fit TM  Neck Pain Healing Exercise Program
(Part of the Pain Free & Fit TM Self-Help Series)
Format: PDF Digital ebook, 70 pages
Publisher: North Shore Health & Fitness Associates, Inc.
Publication Date: 2017
Author: Dr. Michael C Remy, DABCO, CCSP


Chapters and Content:


1- Understanding Pain and Injury, How Injury Occurs, The Body's Response to Injury, The Inflammatory Cycle and What Goes Wrong, Dysfunctional Healing, The Root Causes of Injury, Your Unique Neck Pain,     Traditional and Alternative Treatments, What You Can Do To Help Your Body Heal,

2- Pain Relief Exercises and Techniques, Neck Pain Relief Exercise, Neck Muscle Relaxation Exercise, 5X5 Self-Correction 

3- Flexibility and Scar Tissue, How to Resolve Scar Tissue and Fibrosis, Professional Health Care and Techniques, Ischemic Compression and Massage, Transverse Friction Massage, Slow Eccentric Exercise,       The 4 Myofascial Release Methods, 5X5 Posturcise TM Correction, Self Fascial Method, Neck Stretches

 4- Exercises to Correct Body Mechanics, Body Posture & Stability, Correcting the Weak Links of the Neck     Posture Analysis and Correction, Basic Neck Stability (RPI), 5X5 Posturcise TM Correction, Avoiding Typical Mistakes that Cause Neck Pain,

5-Corrective Conditioning Exercises for Neck Pain, Application and Gradual Progress, Beginner Exercises,      Advanced Exercises, Guidelines for Specific Neck Conditioning, Specific Modifications for Sports, Fitness & Activities 

6- Putting It All Together, Review of Program, Beginner Workout Routines, Intermediate Workout Routines, Advanced Workout Routines 

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