Neck Circles (CARs) for neck mobility

This is another one of my exercises that I give to athletes/patients in the controlled articular rotations (CARs) category. The training method and acronym is popularized by Dr Andreo Spina. It was taught to me at a Functional Range Conditioning course in Winnipeg.  I call them “circles” to my patients because it’s easier for them to understand.  What I like about CARs is that they are easy, yet challenging, and expose to my athletes areas of mobility that they are lacking in.  I recommend performing this exercise on a daily basis to help self assess your mobility.


Neck Circles (CARs)

The intent of this exercise is to actively pull the neck through it’s full range of motion. Challenging all angles that the neck can move through. Scribing out the largest circle possible with your neck.

Imagine, as you perform the exercise, that you are fighting against an invisible person trying to push you away from your end range of motion.  Often, when athletes are performing this move, they miss part of the circle. They cut the circle short when they bring the neck behind the shoulders.  To maximize the range of motion, as you get your ear to your shoulder reach the head back as far was you can before you start to look upwards.

Take 30 seconds to a minute to perform one rep repetition. repeat multiple times a day.

Pinching pain, tingling/numbness, and dizziness are not desirable.

Dr Notley

Take Control and Own Your Spine

You have the ability manage your spine

 What does it mean to own your spine?

It is quoted, in the research journals, that 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime.  Back pain, therefore, a very big problem in our society.  This pain affects the life of the person both financially and socially. Our economy and healthcare system is also stressed because of this problem.

We are often told that our spine is inherently weak. Since we are descended from quadrupeds our spine isn’t built to be upright. Doctors may have been told you that your spine is “broken”. X-rays and MRIs show that your spine is degenerating and you have been told that if you don’t do anything about it you will end up in a wheel chair.  We may have been told that back pain is genetic and since one of our family members had back pain that’s why we have it.These all sound very scary. It also sounds like we have no control over our back. You may already feel hopeless and helpless.

You may have already felt that you have to take drastic measures by having surgery or you have been told that you need a long drawn out treatment plan to get yourself better.

Let me tell you something.  Your spine is a strong and robust structure.  It is supported by strong ligaments and strong muscles.   You actually have the ability to take control over your back pain.  You can own your spine.  It doesn’t control you. You control it.  Rather than taking a passive approach to your back pain and either living with it or just resting you need to feed it with what it needs. Movement! More specifically, the right type and amount of movement.

What “own your spine” means to me is that we have the control over it.  But what you need to do is educate yourself about it.  Learn what helps and how you can help it. These options might be exercise (bod weight, weights, yoga, pilates),  treatment from a healthcare professional (Chiropractor, Athletic Therapist, etc), changing your eating habits or managing you physical/mental stress.

Search for the hashtag #OwnYourSpine on instagram, facebook or twitter.  You will see videos of workouts that I perform, exercises that I give patients, research about the spine and treatments. If you want to share yourself being active, eating well, or managing your stress add the hashtag to your post. I’d love to follow your journey.

Dr Notley

Winnipeg Chiropractor and Athletic Therapist