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Therapy exercises after a neck burn injury

It is important to exercise your joints after a burn injury. If the skin over or near a joint has been damaged by a burn, it has the potential to become tight and eventually contract.

A contracture is a lack of movement at the joint and this will happen if it is not exercised regularly leading to the joint becoming stiff and limiting your everyday activities. It is always better to prevent a joint contracture from occurring than it is to treat it.

If a contracture develops, another surgery may be needed.

What should I do?

During your treatment you will have carried out some exercises with the therapist. It is very important that you continue your exercises at home.

These should be carried out little and often throughout the day to prevent stiffness. We would advise you to carry on with hobbies as discussed with your therapist as these will help to improve movement. When your burn wound has healed, as advised, use an unperfumed cream to moisturise and massage the area 2 to 3 times a day to keep your skin supple which will help with your stretches at home. It is very important that the old cream is washed off before applying more.

Exercises

Complete exercises sitting with your back straight, in a supported chair.

Exercise 1

Bend your head backwards as far as you can. With your hand push your chin as far back as possible. Keep your mouth closed while you do this exercise.

Photograph of person using their hand to push their chin up so they are looking up above them

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your neck.

Repeat times.

Exercise 2

Clasp your hands behind your head and bend your neck forwards. Use your hands to pull your head further forwards.

Photograph of person with their hands clasped behind their head to push their head down so their chin is going towards their chest

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your neck.

Repeat times.

Exercise 3

Turn your head to one side, aim to look over your shoulder. Using your hand push your head further round.

Photograph of person using their fingers to push their chin to one side so they are looking over their shoulder

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your neck.

Repeat this exercise turning your head to the opposite side.

Photograph of person using their fingers to push their chin to one side so they are looking over their shoulder

Repeat times to each side.

Exercise 4

Tilt your head towards one shoulder. Using your hand pull your head further to the side.

Photograph of person using the palm of their hand overtop of their head to reach their other side to pull down so their ear is touching their shoulder

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your neck.

Repeat this exercise tilting your head to the opposite side.

Photograph of person using the palm of their hand overtop of their head to reach their other side to pull down so their ear is touching their shoulder

Repeat times to each side.

Exercise 5

Pull your chin in, keeping your neck and back straight. Do not tilt your chin forwards. Using your hand push your chin backwards in a straight line.

Photograph of person holding their chin and pushing back into their face towards their neck

Hold this position for seconds, then relax your neck.

Repeat times.

Contact us

Sheffield Children’s Burns Therapy 0114 271 7148.

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Disclaimer

Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

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NHS

Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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