Neck pain is an unpleasant experience for many people. Neck and back pain are the most common complaints among adults. When you constantly feel pain, it can make it difficult to move, work, or sleep. Luckily stretching is a great way to reduce neck pain! If you are looking for stretches that will help relieve your neck pain, take a look at this article. Here we will discuss neck stretches that we recommend you do on a regular basis in order to reduce and prevent neck pain.
Stretches for Neck Pain
The neck is an essential part of our body’s anatomy and the main region of our cervical spine. It assists in holding our head up and we use it to turn our head side to side or up and down. It can feel extremely inconvenient and mentally draining when our neck is constantly aching. Neck stretches can help reduce this pain.
The most common muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and neck region that are affected by neck pain include the trapezius and levator scapulae muscles. When our spine is misaligned, our body cannot function properly. Here is a list of neck stretches you can add to your daily routine to help relieve neck tightness, neck strain, and upper back muscle pain.
Supported Neck Pulls
This can easily be done in a standing position or seated in a chair looking straight ahead. You’ll start this stretch with your hands behind your neck and elbows out. Take a deep breath and apply gentle pressure to the back of your neck. Allow your head to fall forward with your chin tucked towards your chest. Pull your elbows towards the floor. Take a few deep breaths and hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. You should feel instant relief from neck tightness.
The starting position for this stretch will begin standing up, looking straight ahead with your hands placed on your lower back. Keep your shoulder blades down and back. Gently let your right ear fall towards your shoulder. Stay in the stretch for a few seconds and then stretch the opposite side.
Forward Fold with a Head Nod
This stretch is great for relieving simple neck pain and aches in the upper back muscles such as the trapezius and levator scapulae muscle.
Bend forward at the hips and allow your head and neck to dangle towards your chest. Grab opposite elbows. Move your head forward and backward like you’re saying yes. Then slowly turn your head side to side. Move your head back to the starting position and start over. Repeat this neck rotation a few times.
This stretch can help relieve neck tightness and strain. The starting position for this stretch can be seated or standing. Start by looking straight ahead and keep your shoulders in a neutral position. Move your head backward, but don’t strain your neck. Then turn your head to the right, back to center, then to the left. Continue doing this movement a few times.
You can do this stretch standing up, feet hip-width apart. Use your chin to create a circle to the right three times and then to the left three times. Rest. Then start the stretch over again. You’ll feel the relief of tension in your muscles and joints.
Levator Scapulae Stretch
Finally, we have the levator scapulae stretch. This stretch is great for neck strain and upper body pains and aches.
You will start this stretch sitting down. Make sure to keep good posture throughout and breath deeply. Put your left arm behind you and grab the seat of your chair by your hips. Turn your head towards your right shoulder and tilt your chin down toward your armpit. You may immediately feel a stretch in your neck or shoulder. Reach your right hand up, place it on your head and apply pressure to ease further into the stretch. Don’t overstretch your neck to where it feels painful. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and then switch to the other side.
Benefits of Regular Neck Stretches
The benefits of regularly stretching your neck include, but are not limited to:
- Relieving tension headaches
- Preventing neck pain from developing or worsening
- Easing stiffness in the neck muscles
- Improving range of motion and flexibility in the cervical spine
- Reducing stress levels
Adding exercise to your daily routine can help keep your body healthy and muscles strong to prevent aches and pains. If you sit for long periods, such as at a desk for your job, it’s important to stand up every once in a while and get some movement in. These simple stretches can be done at home or at your office desk.
Visit a Chiropractor to Help With Neck and Shoulder Pain
When your cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine are all in alignment, you can live a higher quality of life. Living with constant aches and pains can feel daunting, depressing, and stressful. Getting regular adjustments, doing strengthening exercises, and regularly stretching can prevent and reduce any aches and pains you may have.
Your chiropractor can also give you an even more extensive list of stretches for neck pain that you can do at home. They may also recommend body weight exercises or lifting weights to assist with aches and pains.
The professionals at ADIO Chiropractic in Middleton, WI are here to help answer your questions and get you back to feeling your best. When the spine is aligned, all of your body can function properly. When your body is feeling its best, you can live your best quality of life. Give us a call today and see how we can help you improve your life! You can reach us at (608) 824-0950 or click here to schedule an appointment.