A PAIN IN THE NECK
Daily living, poor posture, and injury can often result in tight neck muscles. Neck pain is an extremely common condition that affects the general population. Here are a few easy exercises that can help relieve neck pain. Stretching your neck can have a positive impact on pain, posture, and overall mobility. For minor, common causes of neck pain, simple remedies such as applying heat or ice to the area, doing slow range of motion exercises, or stretches may help relieve neck pain.
We strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.The following are general exercises for those with neck pain. Modifications may be necessary for specific spine conditions. You should not ignore pain. If you feel increased pain or pain spreading to the shoulder or arms, do not continue with the activity. Don’t exercise if you have severe neck pain or weakness in your hands or arms. If you experience this while exercising, stop right away and call your doctor.
Upper trapezius stretch: Sit tall with good posture keeping shoulder down. Grasp the bottom of the chair with one hand, slightly turn your ear to your shoulder until a comfortable stretch is felt on the opposite side pt the neck. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on each side 3 times. Do this 2 times per day.
Doorway stretch: Stand in the doorway with hands and arms out to the side. Keep forearms flat. Take one step forward with one leg to feel a comfortable stretch in the chest region. Hold that position for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times, 2 times per day.
Shoulder Scapular Squeeze: Squeeze your shoulder blades together as shown in the picture. Hold 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Only squeeze hard enough to encourage good posture, not create pain or discomfort. Do this 2 times a day.
Wall Push Ups: Start with feet about shoulder width apart. Place hands against wall slightly below shoulder level and elbow straight. Bend elbows while keeping head in neutral position. Repeat 10 times with 1-2 sets. Do this 2 times per day.
Extension Stretch: Gently bend your head backward so your eyes are looking up at the ceiling or sky. Stop when a stretch is felt in the front of your neck. Hold position for 20 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat four more times. Some people do better with a rhythmic stretching then relaxing instead of holding the stretch.
Flexion Stretch: Gently bend your head forward while bringing the chin toward the chest. Stop when the stretch is felt in the back of your neck and then release. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat this 4 more times for a total of 5 repetitions.
Resting for too long, usually anything more than a few days, will make it harder to get moving again. A regular routine of stretching is an important part of fitness as well as therapeutic for your body. It can improve range of motion and flexibility, increase circulation, and reduce tight muscles.