- Less is more: The structures of the cervical spine are small. Look at your little fingernail. That is the size, more or less, of the facet joints in the cervical spine. Imagine how much force you put your shoulder through and compare the size of the joints! So the "less is more" idea speaks to doing only a few exercises at a time. I like to limit the reps to 6 (yep, six), and also suggest 6 times a day.
- Move into the pain: Unlike the lower back, it makes a lot of sense in the neck to move into the direction of the pain. If it hurts on the right and you avoid right rotation for example, you will quickly find that you cannot turn right.
- Heat or Ice? I mostly say that ice is the ticket, but for some reason, heat around the neck will help the muscles relax more. Remember this: Heat only helps WHILE it is on, take it off and the muscles tighten right up.
- Posture, posture, posture: Try to get your head over your shoulder girdle. It makes all the difference.
- Fit or fat? It turns out that aerobic exercise stimulates the accessory muscles of respiration. This will help your neck settle down. 30 minutes a day every day.