Stiff Neck?

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KenDowns
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Stiff Neck?

Post by KenDowns » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:48 pm

Understanding that I can't expect a diagnosis on a forum, I am wondering if there is a well-known cause for neck stiffness, just as we might immediately think of bad bench form if somebody is complaining of shoulder pain.

Basically, six weeks ago I began to have a permanent low grade soreness in my neck, right side. Doesn't get worse, doesn't get better, does not restrict motion, does not prevent any exercises, like DOMS that does not go away.

Since it was not that bad, I just keep checking form and attempting to figure out which lift might be doing it. It started when I switched from dumbbell squats to barbell, so that seemed the obvious culprit, but though I have been checking form scrupulously and a friend has spotted me to check form, it does not go away.

The clincher came yesterday, when I did deadlifts for the first time. I was not aware that deadlift DOMS is serious pain, not like squats or curls or bench. Well now I know, and it made my neck pain very serious. I actually took Ibuprofen, which I have never done for any lifting-related ache or pain.

FWIW, during the period when it started, I was doing bench, seated military, squat, upright row, pulldowns, and some auxiliaries. I've since eliminated the auxiliaries and added deadlift and rows and that is my complete lineup.

EDIT: Oh, and planks and bridges on off days, just added those last week and got rid of push sit-ups.


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bam
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Post by bam » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:37 pm

When DLing there is a tendency to pull the head up on ascent. that can be rough on the neck. I've found that keeping my chest high contracts the back muscles and takes the pressure off my neck.
But I see it all the time -- guys craning their necks on squats, DLs, bench and press.

Also, I think you're going to be happy with your changes. As for me, I've been making pretty good progress after dropping all the auxiliaries and focusing on just making gains on the main lifts with good form.

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Stephen Johnson
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Re: Stiff Neck?

Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:51 pm

KenDowns wrote:Basically, six weeks ago I began to have a permanent low grade soreness in my neck, right side. Doesn't get worse, doesn't get better, does not restrict motion, does not prevent any exercises, like DOMS that does not go away..
Is the neck soreness worse when you wake up, or are you aware of it while you're in bed?

A lot of people get sore necks from not having their heads supported well when they sleep.

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Re: Stiff Neck?

Post by KenDowns » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:09 pm

Stephen Johnson wrote:
KenDowns wrote:Basically, six weeks ago I began to have a permanent low grade soreness in my neck, right side. Doesn't get worse, doesn't get better, does not restrict motion, does not prevent any exercises, like DOMS that does not go away..
Is the neck soreness worse when you wake up, or are you aware of it while you're in bed?

A lot of people get sore necks from not having their heads supported well when they sleep.
Well, hmmmm, never thought about that. My wife and I have had the same mattress/pillow combination for several years and I never had the issue before.

However, at night I have to work out a position to rest my head. But once I'm comfortably worked in no problems -- sleep fine and, now that you ask, I never even think about it in the morning.

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Post by KenDowns » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:13 pm

bam wrote:Also, I think you're going to be happy with your changes. As for me, I've been making pretty good progress after dropping all the auxiliaries and focusing on just making gains on the main lifts with good form.
Thanks, early returns from the first changes are all encouraging. :grin:


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Post by hoosegow » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:31 am

I'd recommend some soft tissue work.

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Post by robertscott » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:09 am

stretching your traps and suboccipitals probably wouldn't hurt either

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Re: Stiff Neck?

Post by KenDowns » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:43 pm

Stephen Johnson wrote:
KenDowns wrote:Basically, six weeks ago I began to have a permanent low grade soreness in my neck, right side. Doesn't get worse, doesn't get better, does not restrict motion, does not prevent any exercises, like DOMS that does not go away..
Is the neck soreness worse when you wake up, or are you aware of it while you're in bed?

A lot of people get sore necks from not having their heads supported well when they sleep.
I think I might have found the problem. I was digging around on the internet and found several plausible explanations, but one of them hit home. It says this can happen if you look to the left or right under load, like during squat or bench.

I had an "Aha!" moment and realize that I do this, mostly to the left, and what do you know, my neck is more stiff during the day when turning to the left. I have no idea why I do this, some habit or something, as my wife joked, "to make sure your foot is still there maybe?"

So I'm going to stop that and see what happens.

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Re: Stiff Neck?

Post by KenDowns » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:18 am

Status update:

1) Stopped my reflexive glance downward

2) holding bar lower on back, with narrower grip

3) Started doing shoulder dislocations

The general stiff neck is really dropping off. What I noticed most was that shoulder dislocations give immediate relief, though it was not recommended to me for this reason.


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