Do Not Get a Turkey Neck this Thanksgiving

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Lately we have been seeing a lot of people mobilizing the necks by doing head rolls…moving their heads through a complete circle. At Flexible Steel we break these moves apart, in a more isolated fashion, for example, extension and flexion movements, rotations, and lateral tilts. I have asked Dr. Ricardo A. Nieves, M.D. and Flexible Steel Medical Advisor to briefly explain the benefit of practicing or training the neck in this manner as opposed to doing the full circles.

Hi Jon,

Excellent question! The head roll or moving the head through a complete circle is something we see frequently done as a warm up in martial arts.
Athletes are able to compensate and by doing the head roll or circle missed details on their cervical spine range of motion that can eventually create more dysfunction and manifest with pain.
As a trainer you want to find ways of training your clients safely and identify potential problems that might cause pain or injury.

When doing cervical spine or neck range of motion movements I recommend to evaluate and work on movements in a more isolated fashion initially for the following reasons:

– It allows you to identify restriction of range of motion in a particular direction
– It allows you to identify asymmetry on range of motion
– It allows you to identify and isolate a direction of movement that cause pain
– It allows you to identify when during the movement it causes pain (at the beginning, during or at the end of the movement)
– I allows you to avoid placing the neck in positions that cause pain while doing other movements or exercises
– Gives you a more clear and detail baseline movement picture and measurements to compare and re-evaluate after any intervention
– It allows you to communicate effectively and clearly with medical professionals treating you client

I hope this answer your question!

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Ricardo A. Nieves, M.D.
Flexible Steel Medical Advisor

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