Four Quick Exercises to Relieve Neck Pain
A stiff neck can do more than ruin your day. It can flatten you. Neck pain can result in significantly decreased mobility. When you’ve got neck problems, you can forget about turning to check the time, your blind spot, or your toddler climbing into something he shouldn’t.
South Orange Chiropractic Center provides intuitive adjustments, realignments, and chiropractic care that can help alleviate this nagging ailment. Along with any chiropractic care, though, you should perform home stretches and exercises to strengthen core and back strength. The following exercise regimen will help reduce pain and help you return to full mobility as soon as possible.
Before Getting Started
Be sure to consult a chiropractic professional or primary care physician before performing any exercises with an injured or painful neck. Follow what they say, and do not put too much strain on the neck. Vertebrae and muscles in the spine are complex, so be sure to listen to and obey your body’s limits.
For some people, neck pain may be so intense even simple movements cause great discomfort. Physical Therapist Gavin Morrison recommends, “to first get the pain under control. Gradual joint motion and stretches [will] increase range of motion in the neck over time [and] reduce the pain of normal activity.”
The Four Quick and Easy Exercises
Remember to stay hydrated, breathe deeply, and stop if you feel pain when performing the following:
This stretch is simple but important. Lie with your back flat on the floor, arms out at a 90-degree angle to your torso. Bending at the knees and hips, lift your feet and place them on a chair, coffee table, or something sturdy and flat. Breathe deep and exhale slowly. Perform this stretch for 3-5 minutes. This stretch allows your head to settle back into proper alignment with your shoulders – helping to correct Forward Head Posture.
Wrap your right hand over the top of your head, until your fingertips rest just above your left ear. Gently – and while exhaling slowly – pull your head down toward your right shoulder. Do not lift your shoulders. Keep them relaxed. This stretch is designed to stretch and elongate the often-cramped muscles running from the neck into the shoulders. Return to starting position, and switch hands and tilt direction.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, about a foot away from the wall. Reach your right hand behind you, placing your right palm flat on the wall. Slowly twist your head and torso as far as you can to the left. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Return to starting position, and switch hands and twist direction.
When our breathing is shallow, the muscles in our neck contract – rather than deep in our diaphragm. To do this exercise, sit at the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Sit upright, and place your hands on your stomach. Inhale deeply and slowly into your diaphragm. Exhale slowly. Do this for 10 deep breaths, relaxing your neck muscles with each breath.