Neck Pain Relief Through Stretching

Can simple stretches relieve neck pain? Simply put, the answer is often yes. Unless your pain is the result of vertebral damage, the culprit is likely a strained muscle or ligament, which causes you to keep tension held in place just above your shoulders.

The position in which you hold your body, as well as your posture and activity level, can contribute to or cause intense neck pain, making daily activities a chore.

While you can get some pain relief from medications or compresses, often the pain requires a more targeted, ongoing approach to address the cause.

While some cases do require surgery or rehab, there are definitely steps you can take yourself to regain control over your neck pain.

Simple Neck Stretches You Can Do at Home

Is there more to getting the pain out of your neck than turning your head or “cracking” your neck? Of course there is, but without knowing proper exercises, you could do more harm than good.

Your neck pain may not require any medical intervention if you engage in some of the following stretch exercises:

  • Neck Tilt (forward and back) – This is one of the easiest and most natural exercises you can do to relieve tension in your neck. From a position that is either standing or seated, lower your chin to your chest and then look back up straight ahead (flexion). After completing a few reps of this stretch, bend your neck backward until you are looking at the ceiling and then return to look straight ahead (extension). These motions will release a good bit of the tension as long as you maintain good posture during the stretches.
  • Lateral Flexion – With or without gentle assistance from your own hand, bend your left ear to your shoulder, making sure to pause for 5-10 seconds and hold, and then return your head to the upright position. Pause and then repeat the exercise with the right ear. After ten repetitions you should feel a decrease in stiffness.
  • Rotations – Also called “chin circles,” this stretch can be painful if executed incorrectly, or if you do not do the tilts first. Rotate your head around your shoulders first clockwise then counterclockwise three times, going slowly so you do not strain your neck.

Standing Neck Stretches

There are many stretches you can do standing up (all the previous can be done standing or sitting). Because posture is more important with these, and because neck pain can be caused by prolonged seated activity, these stretches are a great way to finish your routine.

Begin with an “exaggerated yes” stretch – standing straight, nod your head to your chest, then bring it back so you are looking at the ceiling. Finally, finish with a forward bend with your arms crossed before your forehead. Once your forearms are touching your knees, nod your head forward, then return to an upright position.

These exercises can strengthen, tone, and stretch the muscles and ligaments that have been damaged, causing the pain.

A regular routine of stretching can help not only address stiffness and soreness but can prevent them from occurring in the first place. If you are looking for additional pain relief, contact the professionals at Eastshore Healthcare today and start your journey to wellness.