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Old 05-13-2014, 07:58 PM   #3
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 710
Re: Strengthening Neck after injury

A friend of mine worked as a physical therapist at "National Spine Care" in Calgary where they had a great big machine for strengthening necks.

He put me in it because I've had some injuries - essentially it's a head bracket attached to a bunch of pulleys that allows you to move your head only in the direction you are intended to move it. So - he had me "nod" down and up straight ahead. Turn 45 deg in one direction, nod down and up (repeats of 10 in each direction), turn 45 deg in the other direction, down and up. All the time using the whole range of motion of the neck where possible (I've got a stiff neck in turning to the left). There was also tilt to the side and so on.
It helped while I was doing it.
You could simulate this movement carefully providing LIGHT resistance with your hands and or a towel, but LIGHT resistance is the key - especially when starting.

If you have a trusted physio/neck specialist, see them. If there's a "Canadian Back Institute" nearby, see them - you may have to pay cash or use up valuable health insurance coverage.

At one point, when I was still wrestling, I could neck bridge (three point stance, feet and top of head, chest up) with about 150lb (about 68 kg) on my chest. That strength kept the neck from breaking when I was "pile-drived" in a judo practice but the injury from that has never been right and I can't do those bridges any more.

Hope you're able to strengthen your neck - be careful, be gradual, be persistent.

And... Your concern about getting a big muscular neck - most females don't respond the same as most males to the "androgenic" effect of strength training due to the lower levels of testosterone in females - it shouldn't be a problem.
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