Move Freely | Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic | Edinburgh

4 How-to Tips from a Sports Injury Clinic in Edinburgh

Tips from a Sports Injury Clinic in Edinburgh

Here at Move Freely, we get many complaints of neck pain. Every patient’s neck pain issue is unique; We treat each case individually. A more severe neck pain is a bulging or prolapsed disc, mainly if it compresses a nerve. We have a unique way of treating bulging or prolapsed discs in the neck; it’s called IDD therapy or spinal decompression therapy. 

However, you can have two different patients with an MRI reporting a prolapse at C5/6 (in the lower part of their neck), but one is a 65-year-old man who likes to do his gardening and read books, and the other is a 33-year-old rugby player who wants to continue playing Rugby and lifting weights. So even though these two people have the same reported injury on the MRI, they will not get the same treatment. 

Both will potentially have IDD treatment targeting the C5/6 intervertebral disc so that we can give it the best chance possible of healing. Still, the rehab exercises that each patient will receive are entirely different. That being said, they will benefit from many of the same ideas and tips to help prevent or reduce neck pain in the future. 


1- Improve the mobility of your neck, thoracic spine and shoulder 

The neck works as a chain – you have seven vertebrae in your neck, all moving together to allow us to move your head freely. If one section of your neck becomes tight or stiff, it can place more demand and pressure on the other parts of your neck. For example: If your upper neck or suboccipital muscles become tight, they can stop the movement in this area, and your body will compensate and start moving the lower part of your neck more. – This is something I often see with C5/6 disc herniations, as in the example above. The suboccipital muscles become tight with looking at computer or phone screens too often, and you start to move more from your C5/6 joint, which over time causes excessive wear on this joint. Eventually, you have a bigger problem with a prolapsed disc. 

Here is an easy stretch to improve your suboccipital muscles (Insert Video) 

2- Build strength in your neck 

Having better strength around a body area is the best way to reduce the risk of injury, and it’s no different at the neck. Most injuries occur when too much load is placed on the neck, and the surrounding muscles can’t take the load. For example, many people get neck pain from sitting at a desk all day and leaning their head forward to look at the screen. This puts a massive burden on the neck muscles – see the diagram below. If you improve the strength of your neck muscles, you can absorb these increased loads and not end up in pain.


Also, If you are playing sports like Rugby, boxing even mountain biking, you need to have strong neck muscles to absorb forces and prevent injuries like whiplashes. Good sports injury clinics or physiotherapists can give you a progressive exercise plan to strengthen your neck. However, be careful where you choose to get this advice, as unsafe or higher-risk neck exercises easily cause injury. So, research and find a good sports injury clinic in your area. 

Here is a Safe and effective neck strength exercise: (insert video) 

3- Become better at managing stress 

When you feel stressed, it is normal to become tense and hold more tension in your upper back and neck muscles. Learning to control these stress responses through techniques like breathing and meditation can make a massive difference in preventing chronic neck pain. 

4- Get expert treatment when symptoms don’t go away 

The truth is that most neck pains will settle within a week or 2, but if they continue longer or continually come back, you need to find a great physiotherapist or sports injury clinic that has experience in helping all different types of neck pain. We are one of the best physiotherapist clinics in Edinburgh at dealing with neck pain, especially complex neck pain like disc prolapses, even chronic conditions that have been around for years. As I said at the start we treat every patient individually. And have several options available to treat neck pain from tamars spinal mobilisation, IDD therapy for slipped discs, and deep tissue laser therapy to help your muscle heal faster. Patients will also be given the most effective and safe stretches and exercise to improve their neck pain.

Thanks for reading, and if you found this helpful, please get in touch with us.

Best regards, 

Daniel Cassells

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