Do you ever wake up with a stiff neck and limited ability to turn your head to the side? This can be attributed to several factors, including improper sleeping positions that can potentially lead to increased muscle tension and/or joint irritation. 

What do you do when this happens? Today we’ll cover a movement you can perform to help gradually restore your neck mobility, without the use of medications.

This movement technique is known as Sustained Natural Apophyseal Glides (aka SNAGs). It’s a mouthful of a name, but it can be very effective!

SNAGs are a manual therapy technique that involve applying gentle and sustained pressure to specific segments of the spine to improve joint mobility, reduce pain, and restore normal movement patterns. The good news is, you can do this on your own with a strap or a belt.

SNAGs focus on the natural gliding movements of spinal joints, targeting the facet joints, which articulate the vertebrae and allow for smooth movement. These glides can be performed in various directions, depending on your specific needs. By gently mobilizing the affected joints, SNAGs aim to restore range of motion, reduce muscle tension, and enhance overall function.

Keep in mind, this is meant to be performed with gentle strength. More is not necessarily better. We recommend pulling to a point where you have no more than 4/10 pain.  

There are additional muscle contract/relax techniques that can be utilized with SNAGs as well. Talk to your physical therapist to find out if SNAGs are right for you, and if there are any particular modifications you should consider. 

Watch the video to see SNAGs in action! 

 

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