Chiropractic Therapy: Exercises

Mid and Upper Back, Core Strengthening & Neck

Cardiovascular and Strengthening Exercises

Chiropractic Therapy: Lower and Middle Trapezius Exercises |
Back Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Lower and Middle Trapezius Exercises (Video Transcripts)

Today we will talk about two exercises that you can do to strengthen out the muscles that help stabilize the shoulders and movements. One of the exercises addresses the middle Trapezius that spans across the top of the back. Another one addresses the lower Trapezius which goes down to the middle of your spine.

Chiropractors suggest starting with an easier version of the exercise and work on to a more intense version one. While laying on stomach, put your hands behind the neck, then try to squeeze the shoulder blades back together. Now lift the elbows up and try to stay in that position for 5-10 seconds or more depending on your tolerance and then relax. During the second repetition try to hold your elbows a bit longer – for 15-20 seconds and then relax. In general, middle trapezius muscles responds much better to higher repetition. Now, obviously, you should stop if there is any kind of pain and work with the physical therapist to alter the exercise. The second exercise addresses the lower Trapezius. This important muscle helps to keep your shoulders healthy and stable during overhead movements.

The lower Trapezius exercise is similar to the middle Trapezius exercise except it should have a higher number of repetitions. While laying on stomach, move your hands forward and keep them on the same level with your head. Now lift them up a bit and squeeze the shoulder blades back together for about 5-10 seconds. Do this exercise with 15-20 repetitions at a time. You will be surprised that most people find this small exercises as a difficult one. These muscles are often neglected even by people often attending a gym. By working out these smaller muscles, we can help protect your shoulders for everyday activity.

You will be surprised that most people find this small exercises as a difficult one. These muscles are often neglected even by people often attending a gym. By working out these smaller muscles, we can help protect your shoulders for everyday activity.

Chiropractic Therapy: Cervical/Neck Retraction

(McKenzie Method) | Neck Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Cervical/Neck Retraction. McKenzie Method (Video Transcripts)

The exercise helps to relieve neck pain and it’s recommended to consult with you chiropractor, certified McKenzie practitioner, whether cervical/neck retraction exercise is suitable for your condition.

Before retraction in standing, first of all, fix your eyes on something middle, so your head does not deviate up or down. With your eyes fixed ahead, slowly and gently draw your neck back to the point of a little bit of pain or as far as possible, then relax (return to a neutral position).

Typically, this exercise is done with a minimum of 10 repetitions per session.Once, you passed 7 repetitions, extra pressure can be applied by placing your hand on your chin and pushing back. Each time you do the exercise it is important to return to neutral position after you retracts, rather than moving your head further forward from the starting position.

Chiropractic Therapy: Multiple Scapula Motor Control |
Upper Back Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Multiple Scapula Motor Control (Video Transcripts)

Shoulder blade exercises. Poor muscle control over shoulder blades can increase pain in the strain of the neck. There are three exercises that you can do for your shoulder blades and arms.

The first exercise will relax and ease any tension in the muscles on top of your shoulders, it can give you pain relief. First, lie on the left side with your arms resting on two pillows, roll your blade shoulder back and across your ribcage towards the center of your back. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times. Repeat lying on the right side for the left shoulder blade.

The second exercise helps to improve the control of your shoulder blades while mimicking work you may do with your arms. It trains you to ease any tension in muscles on top of your shoulders while you’re using your arms. In the sitting position correct your posture, draw your shoulders back and across your ribcage as you have already practiced. Concentrate on shoulder blades position and then move your arms forwards and backwards to the side and turn your forearms outwards. Do not turn your arms for more than 30 degrees. Perform each exercise 5 times and repeat this set three times. When you are confident of doing the exercise keeping your shoulder blades gently back, start holding 250 gram can in each hand as a small weight.

The third exercise is simply raising alternate arms forward as far as you can go. Make sure that you maintain a good posture, especially concentrating on lifting the base of your skull off the top of your neck and then, as you raise your arms, keep your thumb facing upwards. Perform 3 sets of five left and right arm raises

Chiropractic Therapy: Scapular Retraction Sitting |
Upper Back Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Scapular Retraction Sitting (Video Transcripts)
Scapular retraction

In the sitting position with your chin tucked in, retract your shoulder blades towards your spine. Do not raise your shoulders, especially if you have shoulder conditions. Maintain the retraction for 2-3 seconds with 2 series with 10 repetitions daily.

Chiropractic Therapy: Multiple Neck Mobility Exercises |
Neck Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Multiple Neck Mobility Exercises (Video Transcripts)
Multiple mobility neck exercises: forward and backward bending

With each of the following exercises complete 5 to 10 repetitions in each direction assume the correct postural position.

The first exercise – look down and gently bring your chin down towards your chest, then lift your chin up and return to the starting position. Next, slowly roll your head and neck backward to look up the ceiling as far as it’s comfortable. Come back by tucking your chin down and bring your head back to the upright position. Avoid letting your chin poke out, instead keep looking towards the wall in front of you. Each movement should be done slowly and purposely taking 2 to 4 seconds to perform. Repeat each exercise 5 to 1o times.

The second exercise (rotation) – while sitting in the correct postural position gently turn your head to the left, looking where you are going to see over your shoulder as much as possible. You may find it easier to have your target on the wall to focus on. With each repetition try to go a little further in that direction. Perform the same exercise to the opposite side.

The third exercise (alternate position) – sometimes it’s easier to perform this exercise while kneeling on your hands and knees, especially in the early days of an injury. Push through your hands, so your back is not slumped. Practice turning your head and looking to each side.

The fourth exercise (alternate bending) – assume the correct postural position and start with your head centered. Gently bring your right ear down towards the right shoulder. You may feel the normal stretch of the muscles on the side of your neck, but the exercise should be pain-free. Perform this exercise on the left side and repeat 10 times.

Chiropractic Therapy: How to Do the Bird Dog Exercise |
Back Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Bird Dog Exercise | Back Pain Relief (Video Transcripts)

Bird Dog exercise is frequently used in the gym setting, but it’s also frequently used in the therapy settings. It’s a great exercise for a mutual strengthening of the spine. Mutual strengthening is something often needed at the end of rehabilitation stay in the therapy settings. It also puts the spine in what we call a mutual position, which is great for a balance of forces on the tissue.

Come on up to all fours in a position that is called quadruped, then put the hands slightly underneath your shoulders. The key here is to try to enforce neutral position through the lower part of your back. Now roll down a little bit the lower part of your back and hold it. Pretend that you have a glass of water on your back and, at the same time, you’re going to extend your opposite arm and leg, then hold it like that for 30 to 60 seconds, and then switch, or you can hold for a shorter period of time with more repetition. By doing this exercise you’re working on the muscles in the center of the back, your glutes and scapular muscles as well.

Very important part of this exercise is to keep your knees fully extended and not bending them. When the knees of the patient are fully extended it allow your hips and back work more, as opposed to hamstring muscle. Bird dog exercise should be done after a set of facing down exercises, like swimming exercise, because the patient does have to go from a flex position to an extended position, and it’s a little bit more challenging than being extended the whole time.

Chiropractic Therapy: Retraction-Extension for Neck Problems

(McKenzie Method) | Neck Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Retraction-Extension for Neck Problems. McKenzie Method

This exercise is called “retraction-extension”, usually this exercise follows the session of retraction exercises, where retraction has reduced or centralized the pain, but not fully abolished all of the symptoms. Usually this exercise is added once you are well tolerating retraction exercises and just tried to get rid of the last bit of pain.

To do the retraction-extension you have to warm up your neck first by doing 5-6 retraction exercises. This exercise is the same as the cervical/neck retraction with a few additions to it. Once you are ready to progress to retraction extension, you retract all the way and from the fully retracted position you roll your head back into extension.

Typically, 5 or more of retraction-extensions are done after a set of 10 retraction exercises. As you become more practised in the retraction exercise, you can always combine these two exercises, so the very first repetition begins with the retraction-extension exercise.

As with retraction, you can progress the pressure by adding a wiggle. As opposed to a pressure applied to a chin. To add the wiggle – retract all the way back and extend fully and then slightly deviate your head at the end of the extension.  

Chiropractic Therapy: Postural Correction |
Lower Back and Pelvic Region Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Postural Correction (Video Transcripts)
Postural Correction

Perform the postural correction exercise while sitting or standing. Keeping a good position of your spine in the everyday activities will help relieve your pain. At regular times during the day assume the ideal posture by straightening up your spine out of any slump position. Gently bring your shoulder blades back and across toward the center of your spine and gently lift the base of your skull off the top of your neck. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeating this postural correction throughout the day is essential.

Correction Exercise

Correct your posture by gently growing tall from the lower back and pelvic region. Gently raise your pelvis up out of the slump position. Next, reposition your shoulder blades so they draw back and across your ribcage. In other words, towards the center of your spine. This needs only minimal effort. Now gently lift the base of your skull off the top of your neck. This takes the weight of your head off the neck  and stimulate the muscles to work. Hold the position for at least 10 seconds and repeat frequently during the day. For example, 3 to 4 times an hour.

Perform these exercises when sitting, standing or while walking at work or at home.

Chiropractic Therapy: Shoulder Abduction (Standing Position) |
Upper Back Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Shoulder Abduction (Video Transcripts)
Shoulder abduction in a standing position
Raise your elbows sideways, parallel to the floor, avoid shrinking your shoulders during the exercise. Do 3 series of 10 repetitions daily.

Chiropractic Therapy: Additional Neck Strengthening Exercises |
Neck Pain Relief

Chiropractic Therapy: Additional Neck Strengthening (Video Transcripts)

You can start doing more difficult exercises, once your pain in the neck has settled. Start with strengthening exercises, since they should not cause pain and progress slowly.

Isometric retraction sitting (head lifting exercise)

The weight of your head is enough weight to lift. Start by sitting on a chair close to a wall, rest your head back on the wall and slide the back of your head up the wall to nod your chin and hold in this position. Then just the weight of your head off the wall, your hair still touches the wall. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Start by doing three sets of two to three repetitions and gradually build up to three sets of five repetitions. Shifting the chair a little further from the wall makes the exercise more difficult. You can progress the exercise by moving the chair away from the wall in five centimeters stages.

Retraction and isometric flexion supine (progression)

Lie resting on your head on two pillows. Slide the back of your head up the pillow to nod your chin and hold it in this position. Then try to lift away the weight of your head until it just clears the pillow, holds for five seconds and relax. Start by doing three sets of two to three repetitions and gradually build up to three sets of five repetitions. The exercise can be progressed by removing one pillow and performing the exercise in the same way. Please note, in all variations of the exercise holding the chin nod position that is keeping a double chin is a very important aspect of the exercise.

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