7 Neck Pain Relief Exercises You Can Do at Home
Almost everyone experiences the occasional stiff neck from time to time. In fact, statistics show that 1 in 3 people suffer from neck pain every year. The causes of neck pain are numerous, which may include spending long hours seated at a desk, staying glued to your phone, or a bad sleeping posture.
Constant neck pain can be a serious nuisance, affecting your coordination and movements. In some cases, the neck pain may naturally subside after a while. For recurring neck pain, you should visit a chiropractor for an in-depth diagnosis of your condition. The chiropractor may recommend different physiotherapy treatments to manage the neck pain.
In addition, there are numerous exercises and stretches designed to relieve mild neck pain. Each neck pain exercise only takes a couple of minutes or less, and it can be performed in the comfort of your home. Learn more about how to do these seven neck pain relief exercises:
1. Neck stretches you do at a desk chair
Some gentle neck pain relief exercises can be performed in the comfort of a desk chair. This following exercise is designed to target the side section of the neck. Start by sitting on the chair with your feet touching the ground. Next, lift your left arm by the left side of the chair. Place your right hand on top of your head, using it to tilt your head towards the right.
To deepen the stretch, apply pressure to your hand. For a more stable stretch, hold onto the seat. This technique helps you isolate the stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then lift your head up. Repeat this neck exercise on your right side.
2. Neck stretches you do when standing
To perform the standing stretch, stand up in an upright position. Place your arms by your side, while making sure the feet are a hip's width apart. Next, stretch your arms behind your buttocks and hold onto the right wrist with your left hand. Straighten your right arm and carefully tug it away from you.
To intensify the stretch, lower your left ear towards your shoulder. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. Afterwards, you can repeat the neck stretches on the opposite side.
3. Stretches for neck and shoulders
The grounded tuck stretch is an exercise that targets the pain in your neck and shoulders. It's an excellent stretch for relieving headaches caused by neck pain. Begin by stretching your body out on the ground and lean on both shins. Rest your forehead on the floor by leaning forward.
Next, align both arms by your sides, pointing in the direction of your feet. Hold this stretch for a few seconds as you maintain focus on relaxing your chest and thighs. Now, form a double fist with your hands and place them behind you. To intensify the stretch and target your shoulders, press your palms together.
4. Stretches for neck and upper back
The following stretch targets your neck and upper back. Begin by stretching and clasping your hands. Next, place your palms at the rear of your head, while sitting tall and keeping your hips planted in the seat. Then, press the palms towards your thighs and tuck your chin into the chest area.
While pressing down on your head, tug it from your shoulder using the heels of both palms. This technique intensifies the stretch. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat if necessary.
5. Stretches for neck and chest
Tight chest muscles lead to poor posture and rounded shoulders, causing neck pain. Pay attention to how you sit, especially if your job requires sitting at a desk for an extended period. If you sit hunched forward, you are more likely to experience tightness in the chest and rounded shoulders. The height of your office desk can also lead to neck pain.
In this exercise, the goal is to stretch out the pectoral muscles of your chest. Not only does this relieve neck pain, but it also improves your posture. Start by standing in a corner to stretch your chest. Next, place your forearms on the wall to form a 90-degree angle with your elbow. Now, lean forward until you feel your chest muscles stretch. Hold this position for at least 15 seconds, then repeat three times.
6. Stretches to improve neck tension
Poor posture weakens your neck muscles and lead to chronic pain. Leaning your head forward all the time weakens the muscles that hold the head. The chin tuck exercise is great for strengthening weak neck muscles. It also helps to decrease neck tension.
To perform the chin tuck, sit upright with your shoulders pulled back and your head up. Place one finger on your chin and pull your head back. Repeat this neck pain relief exercise ten times for three sets.
7. Stretches to strengthen your neck
The bridge stretch is designed to give you more control over how much you can stretch the back of your neck. To perform it, lie on your back with the arms by your side, palms facing down. Next, bend your knees and place the feet flat on the ground. Bring your heels as close as possible to your bottom, ensuring they are a hip's width apart. Your feet should be parallel to each other.
With your palms and feet pressing onto the floor, lift your hips. You can clasp your hands below the pelvis and maintain this position. Next, rock your body from side to side, while bringing your shoulder blades closer together. Try to hold this position for thirty seconds. To release the bridge stretch, gently lower your hips to the ground.
For more information about effective neck pain exercises and treatments, please visit the physiotherapy team at Chiro-Med.
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