STRESS LESS

Overview

 

Stress Less is designed to reduce muscle tension in the mid to upper cervical neck extensor muscles. These muscles control the movements of head elevation and shoulder elevation.  This exercise also aims to mobilise the cervical spine joints to improve the movement of the neck.

By reducing the tension in the mid to upper cervical muscle groups, you will be able to treat and improve the symptoms that are exhibited with a variety of upper neck pains.  These include reduced range of movement, joint stiffness, muscular strains, headaches, neck weakness, tightness and general pain.  

Set the Beartrap up with two cones at the uppermost part of the hoop.  

    1. Place the hoop of the Beartrap around the back of the head with the Beartrap logo facing upside down.
    2. Grab both handles with each hand and push away from the body whilst also adding small circular movements.
    3. Change the width of the handles to adjust the position of cones on the spine.
    4. For a less intense treatment use the balls instead of the cones

Overview

 

Stress Less is designed to reduce muscle tension in the mid to upper cervical neck extensor muscles. These muscles control the movements of head elevation and shoulder elevation.  This exercise also aims to mobilise the cervical spine joints to improve the movement of the neck.

By reducing the tension in the mid to upper cervical muscle groups, you will be able to treat and improve the symptoms that are exhibited with a variety of upper neck pains.  These include reduced range of movement, joint stiffness, muscular strains, headaches, neck weakness, tightness and general pain.  

Set the Beartrap up with two cones at the uppermost part of the hoop.  

    1. Place the hoop of the Beartrap around the back of the head with the Beartrap logo facing upside down.
    2. Grab both handles with each hand and push away from the body whilst also adding small circular movements.
    3. Change the width of the handles to adjust the position of cones on the spine.
    4. For a less intense treatment use the balls instead of the cones

Treatment Techniques

 

 

Positions

– Neck flexion: head looking down.

– Neck extension: head looking up.

Flexion

– Perform the treatment with your neck flexed down so that chin is closer to the chest.  This will put the upper cervical muscles on stretch and will create a more intense treatment through these areas. 

Extension

– Perform the treatment with your neck extended so that you are looking upwards or in a more neutral position. This will take the muscles off stretch and allow easier treatment of the joints.

Extend and flex the neck

– Perform the treatment while continuing to extend and flex the head.  This creates contraction and relaxation effects on the muscle during treatment, enabling intermittent and varied treatment along the length of the muscles.

Anatomy

 

 

Upper Trapezius

This muscle group is located at the back of the thorax over the top of the rhomboids and levator scapulae. It acts to retract the shoulder blades so that the scapulae move closer to the midline and elevates the shoulders.  Additionally, the upper trapezius extends the neck by lifting the head upward. The upper trapezius originates from the base of the skull and inserts on the lateral ⅓ of the clavicle (collar bone). 

Levator Scapulae

This muscle is located on the back of the neck lying underneath the trapezius. It acts to elevate the scapula and shoulder region. This muscle originates from the outside of the upper cervical joints and inserts on the uppermost portion of the scapula (superior angle).

Cervical Vertebrae

The small vertebrae of the neck that support the skull.  There are 7 cervical vertebrae interspaced with small fibrous discs.  They have facet joints which commonly get stiff and painful and are located toward the outside of these vertebrae.

Recommended Exercise Program

 

Self-treatment of the muscular system creates micro-damage and micro-tears within the muscle.  This is completely normal and helps the muscle relax, increases blood flow and improves overall function. Working out in the gym or performing exercise also creates these micro-tears and damage to the body in the hope that the body will respond positively by increasing strength, improving endurance and increasing power (speed + strength).  This is all dependent on what type of stimulus you provide. The side effect of creating micro-tearing and micro-damage is that it can create post-treatment soreness (pain following treatment or soreness over the following days).

Start off with a modest amount of treatment and see how the body responds.  Build up as the body allows.

If the pain on the post-treatment soreness is significant, give the muscle another day or two to recover before continuing further treatment.  However, if the following day, the muscle feels much better and only mild amounts of post-treatment soreness exist, then increase the timeframe or pressure of treatment.

 

Biofeedback

Muscular biofeedback is the body’s amazing ability to provide instantaneous feedback to the brain about which muscles are tight and where the treatment needs to be focused.  As massage creates micro-tears and micro-damage, the sensation is experienced as pain. The tighter the muscle, the more tearing or damage occurs and the pain sensation feels greater in this area.  Conversely, if the muscle is not as tight, there is less pain experienced when treating the muscle. Biofeedback is a great way to determine which muscles are tight and what areas need more work.

Recommended Exercise Program

Self-treatment of the muscular system creates micro-damage and micro-tears within the muscle.  This is completely normal and helps the muscle relax, increases blood flow and improves overall function. Working out in the gym or performing exercise also creates these micro-tears and damage to the body in the hope that the body will respond positively by increasing strength, improving endurance and increasing power (speed + strength).  This is all dependent on what type of stimulus you provide. The side effect of creating micro-tearing and micro-damage is that it can create post-treatment soreness (pain following treatment or soreness over the following days).

Start off with a modest amount of treatment and see how the body responds.  Build up as the body allows.

If the pain on the post-treatment soreness is significant, give the muscle another day or two to recover before continuing further treatment.  However, if the following day, the muscle feels much better and only mild amounts of post-treatment soreness exist, then increase the timeframe or pressure of treatment.

 

Biofeedback

Muscular biofeedback is the body’s amazing ability to provide instantaneous feedback to the brain about which muscles are tight and where the treatment needs to be focused.  As massage creates micro-tears and micro-damage, the sensation is experienced as pain. The tighter the muscle, the more tearing or damage occurs and the pain sensation feels greater in this area.  Conversely, if the muscle is not as tight, there is less pain experienced when treating the muscle. Biofeedback is a great way to determine which muscles are tight and what areas need more work.

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