Neck or Back Pain from Sitting? 3 PT Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Elevate’s Dr. Katie Lichty, certified in The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT), shares three easy ways to stop your neck or back pain by reversing your rounded sitting posture and improving your spinal health.

The McKenzie Method (MDT) most commonly uses repeated motions to assess spine pain, develop a treatment, and reduce the likelihood of re-injury.  MDT is heavily researched, and studies show that for low back or neck pain, receiving MDT within the first 14 days following injury can help resolve symptoms in the first 3 to 5 treatments, and greatly reduce the need for more expensive and invasive treatments, and diagnostic imaging such as X-ray and MRI.
TRY THIS: Repeat these 3 exercises for 10 reps, 2x per day
Seated Cervical Retraction (Chin Tuck): 
– Make sure you sit in an upright seated posture.
– Keep your chin level and look straight ahead as you slowly move your head backwards as far as you can manage, aligning your ears over your shoulders.
– Place your hand on your chin and gently push the head further backward.
Repeated Thoracic Extension: 
– Find a seat with a low and rigid back (or use a foam roller!)
– Sit all the way back in your seat with your feet flat on the floor.
– Reach hands behind your head and extend upper back, using the backrest as a fulcrum.
Repeated Lumbar Extension (Press Up):
-Begin flat on your stomach on the floor with your hands under shoulders. Keeping your hips on the ground, lift your chest up trying to straighten your elbows (trying to go further each time).
*Keep glutes and abs RELAXED during each set!
As a general rule, the closer towards the center of your neck or back the pain travels, the better (even if it is more intense), and the further away from the middle of your spine (i.e., glutes, leg, shoulder), the worse.
*Avoid pain with the exercises. Reps and frequency are given as a general recommendation. In the clinic, actual exercise dosages are patient-dependent based on your PT’s assessment and mechanical diagnosis.
Contact us for a full evaluation and individualized care for your neck or back pain.
Posted in Elevate Blog.