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					               Neck and arm pain.

Contents of this section.


This section contains information and advice on:

  • Description of symptoms and possible causes.
  • How to correct your posture.
  • Self treatment exercise in extension to abolish
    symptoms.
  • Self treatment exercises in side flexion and
    rotation to abolish symptoms.
  • Self treatment exercises in flexion to abolish
    symptoms.
  • Warnings on symptoms that should be checked by
    a doctor.
  • Neck strengthening exercises.




                       Kevin Turner
                       Rehab4u.org
Neck pain and arm pain.
This is a very common problem. It often begins as pain and / or stiffness in the neck
and can later spread into the shoulder, the arm and then the hand. The symptoms can
be pain, stiffness or aching. As the problem increases, there can also be pins and
needles or numbness:




Sometimes these episodes begin because of an obvious reason such as falling onto the
head, or being involved in a car crash. However, very often there is no obvious cause.
Many people have bouts of neck pain that often get better on their own, only to return
with ever increasing frequency and intensity

Things you can do for yourself:

CORRECT YOUR POSTURE!

Slouching, head-poking posture may not have caused your pain but these positions almost
certainly will make your pain worse. Typically we adopt these positions when sitting
especially driving, working at computers or watching TV especially while also sitting in a
soft chair or sofa.




                                      Kevin Turner
                                      Rehab4u.org
To correct your sitting position, face forward and draw your chin inwards – you could put
a small roll in the base of your lower back to help:




Your sleeping position can also be very important. If your pain is worse when you wake
up then you may benefit from making sure your pillows are soft and there are enough to
hold your head in a midline position. You may also find it more comfortable to put a
rolled towel into your top pillow to support you neck:




 If you usually sleep on your stomach it maybe better to stop this while your neck is
sore. If you find this difficult (because it is hard to know what you do when you are
asleep!) you could try taping something uncomfortable to your chest so that if you did
roll onto your stomach it would wake you up.

If posture correction alone does not take away your pain then try the following:

Exercise 1:




Face forward and draw head back in. Hold for a second then relax. Repeat 10 times
going further each time. The pain may increase as you bring your head in, but should
reduce as you relax. As long as your pain is no worse, try more exercises – if it is
working the pain should start to lessen and you can do this at least every 2 hours as



                                      Kevin Turner
                                      Rehab4u.org
required. If the pain remains worse when you relax, or causes pain or other symptoms to
move into the arm or toward the hand, STOP.




Exercise 2: to do if exercise 1 is helping but your pain has not completely gone.




In sitting, tuck your chin in then tip your head back as far as you are able. Repeat 10
times. You may feel increased pain while doing this, but it should reduce again after.
Try doing this again – if it is helping, your pain should be reducing and possibly moving up
your arm and toward your neck and you can do this 10 times every 2 hours or as
required. If your pain remains worse after, or moves toward your hand, STOP.

You may wish to support your head using a towel and then try Exercise 2 again as this
often makes it feel much less sore:




                                       Kevin Turner
                                       Rehab4u.org
Exercise 3:

If it is too painful to do exercise 1 and 2, lie on you back on a bed and try tucking your
chin in. Repeat this 10 times. If the pain and stiffness lessens, support you head with
your hand and slide off the end of the bed. Gently lower your head and then return to
the starting position. Repeat 10 times trying to let you head move further back:




If your pain gets worse and remains worse after this exercise, or moves toward your
arm or hand or you feel dizzy or unwell, STOP.




    THINGS TO REMEMBER:

    •   If your pain is getting worse or spreads from your neck into your arm as you do
        these activities – STOP.
    •   If your pains are moving up your arm into your neck and the arm is better,
        continue the exercise.
    •   IF your pains or other symptoms began shortly after any trauma such as a fall or
        a car crash, HAVE YOUR NECK X-RAYED FOR ANY SIGN OF FRACTURE OR
        SERIOUS INJURY.
    •   If you develop pins and needles in you arms and legs at the same time, or you
        have difficulty urinating, numbness between the legs or any other strange
        sensations – SEE YOUR G.P IMMEDIATELY.




                                       Kevin Turner
                                       Rehab4u.org
  If you have pain or other symptoms to one side of your
neck, or into one shoulder or arm and they are made worse
              by the above exercises then try:


Exercise 1:

Sitting in a chair. Lower your head sideways toward the side of your pain. Return to
the starting position and repeat 10 times going further each time:




The pain may increase while doing the exercise, but should fade again after. If it does,
try more (10 every 2 hours). If the pain remains worse, or moves further away from
your neck, STOP.
If you are unable to do Exercise 1 in sitting, you could lie on your back and try the same
exercise. If it is helping, your pain should be getting less and / or moving toward your
neck.

If Exercise 1 does not help, try :

Exercise 2:




Gently twist your head toward the side of pain. Follow the guidelines as for Exercise 1.
If your symptoms worsen or move away from the spine and down the arm – STOP.

If you have arm pain with or without pins and needles and these are made worse every
time you do any of the previous exercises then you could try:




                                       Kevin Turner
                                       Rehab4u.org
Exercise 3:




Let your head drop forward. If your arm symptoms become much less, hold this position
for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times as often as you need. If at any time your arm pain
or symptoms worsen while doing this exercise, STOP.




THINGS TO REMEMBER:

   •   If your pain is getting worse or spreads from your neck into
       your arm as you do these activities – STOP.
   •   If your pains are moving up your arm into your neck and the
       arm is better, continue the exercise.
   •   IF your pains or other symptoms began shortly after any
       trauma such as a fall or a car crash, HAVE YOUR NECK X-
       RAYED FOR ANY SIGN OF FRACTURE OR SERIOUS INJURY.
   •   If you develop pins and needles in you arms and legs at the
       same time, or you have difficulty urinating, numbness between
       the legs or any other strange sensations – SEE YOUR G.P
       IMMEDIATELY.




                                    Kevin Turner
                                    Rehab4u.org
Neck strengthening exercises.

1.




Lie on your back. Lift your head forward slowly. Hold for 3 seconds and then lower.
You should not feel any pain, but you will feel the muscles at the front of your neck
working. Pick a number you can do that makes you feel that you have worked the
muscles. Record this number and try to do more with time.

2.




Lie on your stomach. Raise your head backwards slowly. Hold for 3 seconds and then
lower. You should feel the muscles at the back of your neck and shoulders working,
but no pain. Pick a number you can manage that makes you feel that you have worked
these muscles. Record this number and try to do more with time.

3.




Lie on your side. Raise your head sideways off of the bed. Hold for 3 seconds and
then lower. This works the muscles on the side of the neck and shoulder that is
facing upwards. Pick a number that works the muscles, record it and try to do more
with time.




                                  Kevin Turner
                                  Rehab4u.org

				
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Description: Neck and arm pain Contents of this section