I have seen my NHS physiotherapist three times now (over a period of 5 weeks). During the first session, we talked about posture and lifestyle (think I passed the test). He gave me the following 3 short exercises (10 repetitions of each) to do regularly (6-7 times a day).
1. Chicken Tuck
This counteracts the tendency we all have of allowing our heads to poke forwards in a poor posture. The whole movement is like the forward and back movement that chickens make. Hold the movement at the extreme of the backward posture for a few seconds.
This one causes me the most discomfort. It still, 5 weeks later, feels horrible.
2. Neck extension
This is the movement of allowing the head to go back until the face is looking directly at the ceiling. Allow your neck to ease back steadily as you do this, leaving your neck at the end of the movement for a few seconds.
This movement has definitely become easier for me over the weeks – when I first started, I had a fear of looking upwards – I realise now that my head won’t drop off when I do it.
3. Arm Stretch
Sitting with a good posture, I am to hold my hands, palms facing forward and fingers stretched, each side of me and raise my straight arms in a circle until they are above my head.
This feels good to get the shoulder blades moving.
Verdict so far? I’ve been doing these exercises several times a day for over a month now. Numbers 2 and 3 feel good while I’m doing them, and I certainly don’t feel that they do any harm. But I’m frustrated that my neck doesn’t feel any different in-between exercising and I wonder if there should be any improvement in my neck pain by now? I wonder how much success others have had with this kind of thing?