Chin tucks or neck retraction exercise is performed by trying to make a double chin. It is a common exercise prescribed for neck pain.
Chin tucks can be a very effective exercise and it can work miracles with pinched nerve pains going in the arm and hand or posterior neck pain. However it is difficult to understand the exercise and perform it correctly.
Let's learn how to do them.
1. Face the mirror
It is important to have feedback on how you are doing the exercise, especially when you are learning the exercise. So always start off by doing it in front of the mirror.
2. Do them sitting with low back supported
Chin tucks can be performed sitting, standing or laying down. However when you are learning the exercise start with sitting on a chair with buttocks touching all the way to the back of the chair. This will help prevent the arching of back or rounding of shoulders as you do chin tucks.
3. Guide the movement
Place one hand on the chin and the other on the back of the head. Try and perform a nodding movement by pushing the chin all the way in by making a double chin. Remember this is a different movement from bending the neck forwards.
4. Feel for the stretch
You should feel a pull on the back of head and neck, right under your hairline to upper back as the occipital fascia gets stretched with the movement.
5. Change the starting position if you have an upper back hump
If you have a moderate to severe amount of thoracic kyphosis or slouch and the neck is structurally in forward head position you will have to start doing the chin tucks in a little bit of looking down movement instead of looking straight at the mirror. (This brings the neck in a neutral position increasing the effective stretch.) This will avoid jamming at the jaw bone and increase the stretch at the neck.
6. Repeat frequently
It is important to do this exercise at least 4-5 times/day (set of 7-10 reps) or as advised by your Mckenzie therapist and be aware of postures and economics during daily activities.
To meet certified Mckenzie therapist in East Brunswick call 551-208-3234 at Spineck Physical Therapy