Dreading a day of root canals with a sore neck? In this month’s Dentistry Gym column, Khalil Hussein shows you how to relieve neck pain.
Neck pain is…well, a pain in the neck!
Especially when it comes along so suddenly. You’ve just woken up and your neck is killing you. It’s very stiff and you’re sitting there dreading all of root canals that you have booked in for today.
So what do you do in this case? Well, fear not, as there is a lot you can do to find some relief right now. In this month’s episode of the Dentistry Gym I am going to take you through a variety of different things that can help you with that acute neck pain.
Don’t ignore your pain
I must preface this by stating some disclaimers before you do anything. Sometimes neck pain is just simple mechanical neck pain. It can be caused by a number of different things, but sometimes neck pain isn’t something you should just ignore.
If you have any of the following you should always check with your local doctor or physio to get a formal diagnosis:
- Any form of trauma, including minor falls, car accidents, etc
- Pain into or both of your arms or radiating anywhere else in your body
- Intense headaches, nausea, vomiting, or any problems with your bowel or bladder
- Blurry vision, tinnitus, or dizziness
- Sharp shooting pain with all movements.
In the meantime, let’s work through what you should do to help get some relief.
Relax your body
The first port of call is to try and relax your body. Pain is a response to danger so right now your body is feeling threatened. It’s important we get it back to being calm again.
We do this by focusing on the breath and slowly trying to relax with each breath out.
Breathing is one of the only ways we can influence our autonomic nervous system consciously so don’t skip this step. It will make the rest of them much easier to manage.
Secondly, you need to regain some of your range of motion back.
Acute neck pain often presents with intense losses of movement and movement is what helps your joints and muscles stay hydrated and happy. Begin with gentle movement into areas that don’t cause too much pain and slowly work your way into a bigger range of motion over time.
Be patient as this may take some time.
Regain muscle strength
From here we move to try to regain some muscle strength.
During pain or episodes of pain, muscle strength often decreases as a protective measure. Utilising some gentle isometrics can be a very good way to reset the body and decrease pain levels.
Research has shown that isometrics have profound effects on pain and help to reduce it, especially in the case of muscular or tendinous pain. They will also allow you to regain some of your muscle strength back which is very important for all day-to-day activities!
Lastly, we want to try to incorporate movement and exercise into the surrounding areas. Remember – your body is not broken up into parts that work separately.
All parts of the body affect those around them. Your neck is affected by what happens in your thoracic spine and shoulders and vice versa. So working on these areas will often help with the neck pain you might be experiencing.
Repeating the suggestions above and utilising the video will often help to reduce the pain you’re experiencing. If not, then repeat the process a few more times that day over the coming days as most acute neck pain will subside within a short period of time.
Send this article over to someone who has neck pain and definitely subscribe to my youtube channel so you never lose the video when you might need it in the future!
This class is designed for viewers to carry it out with minimal equipment at home. We don’t use weights so these exercises are quite safe for most people.
However, before conducting any exercises please consult your GP or allied health therapist for guidance and advice about your own circumstances and whether these exercises are the right thing for you.
Always seek medical advice before starting any exercise program.
Follow Khalil Hussein on his Instagram: @khalilchiro, or via his website: www.khalilhussein.net.
Catch previous Dentistry Gym videos:
- Things that work for back pain and things that don’t
- Easy neck strengthening for dentists
- Escape shoulder pain from dentistry
- Combat lower back pain and stiffness
- Two simple exercises for neck pain.
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