Use A Belt to Stretch A Tight, Painful Neck


♪ Bob and Brad the two most famous ♪ ♪ physical therapists on the internet ♪ -Hi folks,
-Hi, I’m Bob Schrupp physical therapist -Brad Heineck, physical therapist.
And together we are the most famous physical therapists on the internet. In our opinion, of course, Bob. Today, we’re gonna show you how to use a belt to stretch a tight, painful neck. We figured most people who have a belt somewhere in their house. -Sure
-Especially a leather one. They seem to work a little bit better. -Yeah
-They really grip onto the neck The whole thing we have found with neck pain– Generally, the more you can regain motion., the more the pain tends to go down. Right, neck pain as well as… It radiates down to the shoulder down on the arm sometimes. That, I’ve had tremendous success with these things.
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-Yup! Otherwise, I think we’re ready to go, aren’t we?
-Yeah, let’s go to the stretch– I think the first is, you know, is your neck tight? So, we’re going to show you just a couple things you could do. You know, first off, you’re gonna see are you tight going into flexion? Most people are not. because you spend a lot of your day down like. Looking down at your phone or looking down at the newspaper for the old people. [laughing]
-Right One thing I do want to say, and I think you’ll agree with this and any therapist will probably agree Once you get probably to around that 60-year mark or older, it just seems like people’s necks tighten up. Their range of motion gets less and less. I would say for my experience it’s across the board, not all… Not 100%, but the majority.
-Yeah, unless they were super loose in the first place like they have– you know, one of those ligament diseases
-Right So, how to assess it-
You can do by yourself if you’re going to use a mirror. It’s a lot easier to have someone else give you some feedback thought. Right. But this first one is easy enough. Can you put your chin down to your chest? And like I said, most people are not going to have trouble with this one In fact, I’m not even showing how to stretch this one, Brad, because it’s so… -No, right Right. The second one is- again, you can look in a mirror You can actually put the mirror
right here on your side. and you turn your head..
-oh good! and you can see how close
your chin is getting to your shoulders
-Right If you can see at me actually, this is my tight one.
I’m not getting all the way back. So, if you look at that white spot That’s why I’ve got that white spot on my shoulder today, so you can go like this. In there, and then if I rotate this way…
-Yeah, I go further this way I lose a little range of motion to my left as well, Bob.
-Go to your left once again. Yeah, let me see. Oh you’re tight! You’re really tight!
-Well, Bob! He was acting like I was so tight,
but you’re worse than I am! Well, I’ll stretch it out.
[laughing] Alright, we’ll stretch it out. And then there’s side bending. This is one, too, you can look in a mirror. You can even measure with your fingers. You know, how how close
are you getting to your shoulders. Don’t lift your shoulders up like this. You gotta leave them relaxed. And you bend over to the side, and then you compare side to side, and they both could be tight But generally what we find, is one side is tighter than the other. and that’s the one you generally want to start off by focusing on. The last one that we want to check is extension. Brad, you want to show that– You had a good you say you take your patients Oftentimes I’ll have a person take a chair, back to the wall, and you’ll see the corner and I’ll just say lean back and then see how far you can look up toward the ceiling and if they have no problem with that, most people can usually get to the corner, see the corner of the wall. Except for older people. You know, people in their sixties and seventies That– usually if they can get up to this point to see the ceiling that that’s pretty normal. A lot of times I’ll see people get to here and it’s pretty tight by then. Younger people are like myself, ’cause stretch this. That’s fine to get way back–
You’d be shocked how far back your neck can go and you really do want to work on that! As long as it’s pain-free.
-Right All right, we’re going to show you something here to just to point out a little piece of piece of anatomy… [Brad] Here, Bob. Let me point it out!
[Bob laughs] Okay. So, this is where your head would be He’d be actually looking towards Brad, here. Now you have two little joints on each level of the neck. Each level of the spine in the cervical region. What we want to point out, is the joints are angled like this. If you look at that blue tape It’s angled this way and that’s the angle of the joints. And where they meet, they’re flat joints. It’s like your hands rubbing together They’re called facet joints.
-But they’re angled like this. In your lower back they’re not so much It’s a different story, but the mechanics here that’s important for the stretch we’re going to show you. So, next thing is, you need a belt. Brad’s got a belt. -Yep
-And you just go ahead [Brad groans]
This could cause some problems at work, if you do this. People wondering what the heck you’re gonna do.
-Yeah, so just bring one into your pocket…
-When I was a kid, this was a worrisome sign. Oh yeah, back in the day. Can’t do that anymore. My dad never did hit me with a belt, though.
-No, no? -No, he did one time– -Oh he just showed you.
-He took me behind the shed, and he was going to do it He said, “I’m going to do it just like my dad used to do it.” and I talked him out of it. [laughs] I did!
-Wow -He was a good man. -Yeah -He was Anyway, so when you’re– you’re gonna work on extensions first and the thing is, I like to– again you get it on different levels of the neck. But, see how I have it angled up here. So it starts low, it angles up to the eyes. [Brad] Bob, you talk, but I’m going to take mine off. Yeah, was gonna say it’s really hard to do this with the microphone on. But you can go ahead keep the angle, and while I go back, I’m gonna try go back further The belt is coming along with me. I’m not going like this. I’m going– the belt goes along with me. You’re following the ends of the belt with your eyes. And this can really work– and what’s nice about this is you can get different levels of the neck. You can get down really low, and The leather belt grips onto the neck really quite well. And you can also get up into higher levels, here. Right. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen a woman, she’s about 40 years old, and I’d been working with her for three visits Neck pain, shoulder pain, and mid-back pain and we’re doing this stretch and when I showed her this [stretches up] She said “Boy, does that make a difference”. And this is one of her primary stretches, and she’s making significant gains. Good point, Brad. Now, the other thing that I often will have people do if– let’s say they’re having pain going down one arm I might have them grab with the opposite arm, and that’s what works out with a belt really nice. It’s easy to grab on with one hand. And again, these should feel like a good stretch. You’re not creating pain. If it’s irritating it, your problem is either too severe or maybe it’s a different problem. And then you’re gonna not do this. Yeah, if it sends pain down your arm, it’s not helping the pain come back up and get out of your arm it’s not the right thing to do. Or if you get dizzy or lightheaded while you’re doing it then you stop. There’s a lot of things that you
have to kind of watch here. It should feel good. -You can do chin tucks with this, too, by the way, as a warm-up. I mean you can just go ahead and grab and now this one I usually just go straight across and I do chin tucks like this. You might start off just by doing chin next without the belt Then if you want to give a little extra pressure, you can go ahead use the belt to get at different levels It helps– you can– stabilize Stabilize so you can get different levels. So yeah, that’s a bit of a therapy talk… Alright, let’s go to rotations, Brad. So with the rotation, it’s a little tricky. What you’re gonna do, is you
have that belt down low like this and then you’re going to go ahead and switch arms, because I’m going to go to the right. I’m going to take my right arm to grab the
left side of the belt, and this one pulls straight down, not across like this. You don’t want to choke yourself off.
And you’re going to come across– Again, we want to angle up like the facets, or the facets do, or the joints do, It’s going up to the eye and I’m going to work on going to the right here. And again, make sure it’s up across the jaw bone. If you get down here, then you get across your neck and we don’t wanna cause a breathing problem So get it up in there. This one should also feel like a real nice, comfortable stretch. Yeah, and you can hit different levels with this I really should work the other direction, but I’m gonna hit my mic when I do that. [Brad] I needed that, too, but..
[Bob] We’re in trouble! If you’re wearing a mic, you can only go in one direction.
[laughing] You can only go one direction Again, you do a good set of ten. You can do it a couple times a day if you want. I mean, you can do it more than that.
-I usually say three times a day -Sure. There you got it! Sometimes I’ll say four or five because I know they’ll only get three. So, look at that already.
-Oh, I just felt a nice little pop! You’re already moving further, Brad. I mean, yeah, you were, like, right here. It feels good, too! So that’s actually where I start–
I might have slept on that side that night! That couldn’t easily tighten you up
-Absolutely, that gets you. All night long you’re in a bad position. So next one is side bending. We’re not going to use the belt for this one, now. Which side bending, you’re just going to go ahead– good posture. I want your really good posture. I do not want you being forward like this. You’re going to almost do even a little bit of a chin tuck, and then you’re gonna side bend. So again, a chin tuck is not going down. It’s not going up. It’s just bringing the neck back, the head back. It’s like when I look at Bob’s face, it makes me go “wooooah!” Just kidding! Anyway…
-You’re a beauty looked at, Brad. [laughing] And this marks the moment where the partners turned on each other. -Yeah! All right chin tuck, and I’m gonna go to the side trying to put the ear to the shoulder. You can lightly take your fingertips and give a little bit of stretch. And this is gently. I have fingertips. We’re not grabbing the head and pulling on it. Just gentle. Now, this is one– This is actually one I do quite often. I tend to, when I do my notes, I’m like this So I often work on the other– so I’m tight this direction so I’ll do a chin tuck and I’ll go to the right. Chin tuck and I’ll go to the right.
And I’ll do those throughout the day. Because if I get neck pain that’s the– what’s causing it.
It’s me being this way all day long. and that’s why we went through the whole process of showing you how to check your range of motion because there’s probably certain ways that you want to emphasize like Bob does. Repetitions not quick stretches. We’re not trying to crack your neck
-Right Just trying to go ahead and give it a stretch. Yeah, nice and relaxed.
-Remember Brad and I can fix just about anything. -Except
-A broken heart There you go
-We’re working on it And we’ll never stop Well once we get it figured out, we’ll stop.
-Yeah, that’s a good time to stop. On top! Then we’ll get it patented
-Alright. Excellent [laughing]

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