Poor Posture, sleeping in an awkward position, stress, and overuse are likely causes of your neck pain. In our day-to-day, we are usually putting stress on the neck area, and without knowing you are creating the chance for pain and discomfort because you are not aware of the amount of stress your neck is experiencing.
Our necks experience daily stress from a variety of activities. Whether it’s working on the computer, sitting in traffic for hours a day, or even carrying around a heavy bag 0r backpack, our necks are constantly under strain. Unfortunately, this accumulated stress can add up and cause pain in our neck muscles.
It’s important that your head and spine remain aligned as any misalignment could lead to neck pain over time. So as you go throughout your day, remember that the more you can keep your head and spine aligned, the less stress you are putting on your back, shoulders, and neck.
Now that you understand what could be causing your pain throughout the day, we can talk about stretches that you can do to help relieve or treat neck pain.
When you are dealing with neck pain, it is important to be mindful of when enough is enough. You should stop stretching and exercising the affected area once your pain increases or persists after you have finished a stretch or exercise.
Exercising can help reduce pain in the neck, however, if done incorrectly or for too long, it can actually cause more harm than good.
6 Exercises to Help Treat Your Neck Pain
When exercising with neck pain, it is important to pay attention to how your body feels as you go through each movement. If any part of the exercise causes an increase in pain or discomfort that does not go away after resting briefly, then you should cease the activity immediately.
Neck pain can be debilitating, but regular exercise and stretching can help relieve tension, improve posture, and reduce pain. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back that support your spine. Additionally, stretching loosens tight muscles and increases blood flow to these areas to reduce stiffness.
Now, keep in mind that all pain is different and some of these stretches will not work for people with different types of pain. If you want to understand the 3 main causes of neck pain and which stretches would help more for each type of pain, watch this video:
You now have a better understanding of what is causing you pain. Here are 6 exercises to help treat your neck pain:
1. Neck Retractions
Begin by sitting or standing with good posture and your chin tucked in slightly. Gently draw your head back as if you were trying to make a double chin, feeling the back of your neck tighten. Hold for 5-10 seconds before releasing and repeat 8-10 times.
2. Neck Rotations
Sitting or standing, keep your shoulders relaxed and turn your head slowly from side-to-side as far as it can comfortably go without straining yourself. Do about 10 of these rotations at a time, taking breaks in between if needed. Repeat 3-4 times per day to help relieve neck pain caused by stiff muscles.
3. Shoulder Rolls
Relax your arms at your sides and slowly rotate your shoulders in circles. Start by doing clockwise circles for 10-15 seconds, then switch directions counterclockwise for the same amount of time. This exercise helps to loosen tight neck muscles as well as improve your overall posture.
4. Neck Release
Lean your head slowly towards one shoulder until you feel a gentle stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then switch sides and repeat. Do this several times each day whenever you feel pain or tension in the area to help relax tight neck muscles.
5. Chin Tucks
Sitting or standing, pull your chin back so it’s parallel with the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then release and repeat several times throughout the day. This exercise helps to strengthen your neck muscles and alleviate pain caused by poor posture or muscle tension.
6. Wall Push Up
Place your palms against the wall at shoulder height, then press forward while keeping your elbows straight. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds before releasing and repeating 3-4 times daily. This exercise helps to relieve tension in the neck muscles and improve circulation to the area.
If you have done these exercises, and are still experiencing pain, we recommend coming to see us for a free neck pain assessment, so we can identify the problem you are having and come up with a treatment plan.
Need Help Identifying the Reason You Have Neck Pain…
If you’ve been struggling with neck pain for more than a week, it keeps coming back or it’s become more painful, there may be a more serious cause of the problem.
One that stretching and other exercises can’t fix.
If this sounds like you, we would love to invite you for a free neck pain assessment, which will enable you to get a full diagnosis and finally understand the real reason your pain won’t go away!
Not sure whether physical therapy is right for you?
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