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The Benefits of Neck Stretches After an Automobile Accident

One of the most common injuries following a car accident is whiplash. This happens when the neck is forcibly and quickly thrown back and forth, which may injure the bones, ligaments, muscles, and other tissue.

Yet, with proper treatment, you can make a full and relatively quick recovery from a whiplash injury. Allow our top chiropractic and physical therapy team at Tampa Spine & Wellness to help you find neck pain relief. We’ll work with you to ensure your body heals to the best of its abilities. Often, your treatment plan will involve neck stretches prescribed by our Doctor of Physical Therapy. So, let’s explore what neck stretches we commonly use for your physical therapy and how they can benefit you after a car accident.

Neck Stretches for Whiplash

Stretches can help restore function and range of motion in your neck. Here are a few common ones our physical therapists at Tampa Spine and Wellness prescribe:

  • Chin Tucks: This involves lying flat on your back. You may need to place a small rolled towel under your head. From there, and without taking your head off the ground or bed, press the back of your head into the rolled towel. You should feel the muscles in the front of the neck tighten. Hold here for 5-10 seconds, then release. Repeat for 10 repetitions and perform about 2-3 sets.

  • Side-to-Side Head Rotations: Sitting up tall, slowly rotate your head and bring your chin over top of your right shoulder. Pause, then turn your head so that your chin is over top of your left shoulder. Pause again. Repeat about 10 times and do about 2-3 sets.

  • Side Bending: Sitting up tall again, slowly bring your right ear toward your right shoulder. Pause, then come back to center. Then, slowly bring your left ear toward your left shoulder. Keep you gaze forward the entire time. Bring your head back to center. Repeat 10 times and do about 2-3 sets.

Why Bother With Neck Stretches?

Neck pain, similarly to any other injury, may cause limited range of motion. This might mean you have pain or struggle to look over one shoulder (or both). You may experience pain when nodding your head. Pain may prevent you from attempting these movements. Scar tissue may also build up causing movement limitations. In turn, you may lose some of your range of motion after an injury.

Thus, it’s important to perform exercises that increase range of motion. These stretches can further help:

  • Restore function

  • Reduce pain

  • Alleviate muscle tension

  • Improve flexibility and mobility

With the Tampa Spine and Wellness team, your physical therapist as well as our physical therapy assistants will guide you every step of the way. They show you how to perform each exercise and educate you on what to do if you experience pain. The rule of thumb is to not go past the point of pain or do anything that causes increased pain.

Are you ready to tackle your neck pain? Contact the Tampa Spine and Wellness team today. Make a full recovery and get back to the activities you love!


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