Neck pain is incredibly common, though if you’ve sustained an injury to your neck, or suffer from arthritis or some kind of common pain, your type of neck pain is likely very different than a little stiffness from keeping your neck in one place for too long. Neck pain can be treated with medicines, alternative therapies and some off-the-shelf products, but for some types of pain, you may need to do neck exercises. Here are some potentially helpful neck exercises to help you deal with your current neck pain.
Levator Scapulae Stretch
Stretching the levator scapulae muscle can help improve your flexibility, which will in turn help with any tension you’re feeling in your neck, which can cause pain. The levator scapulae muscle is the one which connects your neck to your shoulder blades. The exercise involves places your right hand behind your head and turning your head to the right, 45 degrees. Very gently pull your head down toward your right pectoral muscle or armpit, at which point you’ll feel a stretch – hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax. Do the same on the other side, then repeat three to five times for both sides. Be careful not to pull or jerk or do anything fast and hard that could injure your neck further. You can see a demonstration of the levator scapulae stretch on YouTube.
Relaxing your neck muscles is often key to fixing simple neck pain, and turning side-to-side can help those muscles relax. This should prevent those muscles from restricting your neck movement. Simply turn your head to the left and look over your shoulder and hold that position for five to ten seconds, then return facing forward. Do the same for your right side, repeating the exercise ten times for each side.
Lateral Neck Flexion, or Bends
In case your muscles are particularly tight in the side-to-side direction, lateral neck flexion should help relax those muscles. This should improve neck mobility, which should in turn reduce pain. Carefully and slowly bend your head to one side, bringing your ear toward your shoulder. Hold your neck there for five to ten seconds, then return your head to face forward. Follow this up with the other side, doing this exercise a total of ten times, each side.
Neck Flexion and Extension – Neck Bends (Forward)
This is a mobility exercise, as with all of these exercises intended to stretch and relax your muscles, reducing your neck pain. Carefully lower your chin down toward your chest, and hold there for five to ten seconds as you feel the stretch on the back of your neck, then return your head to its normal position. Carefully then bend backward, pointing your chin toward the ceiling, holding for five to ten seconds. Do this ten times in each direction.W
If you’re suffering from any kind of neck pain or chronic pain, we can help you come up with a treatment plan, including exercises and rehabilitative options.