how to strengthen the Rectus capitis posterior minor muscles?
January 30, 2013 8:43 AM   Subscribe

muscle-minded members of Mefi: how do I strengthen the Rectus capitis posterior minor muscles?

Was whiplashed years ago and still have neck problems. I understand symptoms point to damage to the Rectus capitis posterior minor muscles. Since these muscles are stabilizers I imagine that simple neck extensions will be "hitting" the wrong muscles. How do I strengthen these muscles? be grateful for pointers to exercises and literature!
posted by mirileh to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This might be a place to start.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:41 AM on January 30, 2013

Everything depends on your current cervical spine posture, which in turn depends on your global posture. Be aware that you need to be armed with a good sense of exactly what's up with these before you can embark on any kind of post-trauma corrective neck training, particularly for something as specific as the RCPM (the function of which isn't well understood, and isolative strengthening of them is practically impossible anyway). This knowledge is essential because what fixes one symptom (e.g. the excessive cervical lordosis you'll get from upper crossed alignment) will in cases of the opposite alignment only exacerbate problems. Without knowing which alignment you're in, it's a coin toss as to whether any given exercise program will resolve your dysfunctions or worsen them.

A basic postural assessment from a PT, highly qualified trainer, remedial massage pro and/or a non-quack chiro would be ways to go. Also of course, x-rays and MRIs to rule out vertebral/disc damage.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 3:39 PM on January 30, 2013

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