There is no agreement today regarding what exercises to use and their grading when designing an exercise program for patients with neck and/or shoulder girdle pain. However, the Medical Exercise Therapy exercise program is, in many ways, a common sense approach where global, semiglobal and local exercises are combined. Global exercises work the whole person. Exercise equipment used to achieve a global effects are step machines, rowing machines, arm and leg ergonometers (stationary bikes) etc.
Medical Exercise Therapy for neck and shoulder girdle
pain – headache
Semiglobal exercises work the upper extremities and trunk to get an exercise effect on the shoulder girdle and neck area. Local exercises are specific to the neck or the shoulder girdle alone. A mobilizing exercise for the upper cervical spine is a typical local exercise. Another example of a local exercise would be to exercise the deep stabilizing muscles of the neck aiming for kinetic control. Many patients with neck and/or shoulder girdle pain can be put directly into an exercise program, or an exercise program can be combined with other physiotherapy methods.
A 55 page exercise manual with an accompanying profesionally made video of 60 minutes
The exercise manual show starting and ending positions of the exercises. The exercise manual is filled with a multitude of exercises showing different starting positions of the upper extremity and trunk used to treat neck and shoulder girdle pain. The grading of the exercises and their progressions are also described in detail. Local exercises for the upper cervical spine in flexion, extension and sideflexion are shown. Also stabilization and mobilization exercises of the cervical spine are described, working in flexion, extension, sideflexion and rotation.
The video (60 minutes) starts at page one of the exercise manual where each exercise is described and shown practically. The video also shows how to use local mobilizing exercises,practically, for the neck and thoracic spine. Throughout the video you will get first hand information about how to apply different forms of mobilizing wedges and when to use various bolsters for mobilizing the mid and lower thoracic spine. Local exercises for the cervical spine are shown, either working with gravity assisting, gravity resisting, or with increased resistance using a pulley or the Medical Exercise Therapy neck exercises. The local exercises are divided into different stages where awareness and relaxation is just as important as performing either isometric (stabilizing) muscle work or dynamic muscle work moving through a defined range of motion. Examples of how to improve coordination with good kinetic control are shown.