As indicated in the previous article endurance training of the respiratory muscle has been shown to improve sufferers of chronic neck pain and respiratory dysfunction. The endurance training of the respiratory muscle allows rehabilitation for optimal chest mobility and maximal expiratory pressure in chronic neck pain patients.1
The deep neck flexor muscles are commonly found weak in chronic neck pain sufferers. These muscles include the longus colli and longus capitis muscles.
Rehabilitation for neck pain or prehabilitation for proper neck function:
Specific training of the deep neck (cervical) muscles2
For example the craniocervical flexion exercise:
- Patient lies supine (on your back)
- Lift head a couple of centimeters off the floor
- Ensure chin is tucked in
- Sustain head position against gravity for as long as you can
- If you cannot hold your head in position for 10 minutes, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat steps 1-4 again till you reach 10 minutes
- Perform this twice a day
Respiratory muscle endurance training
For example walking, jogging, running, or swimming:
- Intensity: Moderate- to intense-intensity of aerobic physical activity3
- Duration & frequency: 30 mins/day for at least five days of the week (Total: 150 minutes/week)3
1.Wirth B, Amstalden M, Perk M, Boutellier U, Humphreys BK. (2014). Respiratory dysfunction in patients with chronic neck pain – influence of thoracic spine and chest mobility. Man Ther;19(5):440-4.
2.Falla, D, O’Leary, S, Farina, D, Jull, G (2012). The change in deep cervical flexor activity after training is associated with the degree of pain reduction in patients with chronic neck pain. Clin J Pain;28(7),628-34.
3.World Health Organization. Global Health Risks: Mortality and Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risks. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press; 2009