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Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints amongst desk workers. Recent studies have found that people experiencing neck pain consistently present with weakness of their deep postural neck muscles (deep cervical flexor muscles). As a result, they also found an overactivity of their more superficial neck muscles (such as sternocleidomastoid). These superficial muscles are not designed to work for long periods and as a result can become a source of pain and discomfort if they are used in this way.
So how can we correct this imbalance?
Multiple studies have identified the importance of retraining your deep cervical flexors effectively in order to correct this muscle imbalance and prevent recurrence of your neck pain symptoms. Additionally, a recent study also identified that the use of a specific biofeedback cuff during the retraining process is more effective than conventional retraining programs alone.
Subsequently, if you are experiencing neck pain please come and see one of our Physiotherapists who are all able to assess you with the latest techniques and teach you how to retrain your deep postural stabilisers with the use of a biofeedback cuff. We may then progress you into a Pilates based neck and postural training program for ongoing progression and injury prevention if appropriate. Our Pilates classes also have a strong consideration of this muscle group, with specific exercises directed at retraining these intergrated throughout.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions regarding this blog or our Pilates options.
Reference: Ilsub, J. & Kyoung, k. (2013). A Comparison of the Deep Cervical Flexor Muscle Thicknesses in Subjects with and without Neck Pain during Craniocervical Flexion Exercises. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 25(11): 1373–1375. Iqbal, Z. A., Rajan, R., Ahmed-Khan,S. & Alghadir, A. H. (2013). Effect of Deep Cervical Flexor Muscles Training Using Pressure Biofeedback on Pain and Disability of School Teachers with Neck Pain. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 25(6): 657–661