5 Easy Stretches to Relieve Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common problem that many people experience at one point in their lives. You can get a stiff neck if you slept in a bad position or maintained a slouched posture while typing on a smartphone or PC for extended periods. In some cases, neck pain may develop from a past injury. Regardless of the cause, acute neck pain and stress is easy to relieve through simple stretching exercises.
Neck exercises for relieving aches are easy to do and require little time. To help you get started, here are 5 stretches to relieve neck pain.
1. Side Neck Stretch
You can do this stretching exercise from a standing or seated position. As the name implies, this stretch targets the sides of your neck.
Begin the exercise with your shoulders relaxed. Gently tilt your head toward the right shoulder.
Assist the stretch by placing your right hand on top of the head and pull it gently.
Hold this position for 30 seconds then slowly align the neck with your spine and repeat the stretch on the other side.
2. Hands Behind the Back Neck Stretch
For a deeper stretch in the sides of your neck, attempt this exercise. It is similar to the side neck stretch only that this time your hands will be behind the back.
While standing upright with feet slightly spread, place both hands behind your back just below the tailbone. You can hold the left wrist with your right hand.
Lower your right ear towards the shoulder. To increase intensity of the stretch, pull your wrist with the right arm to straighten the left arm gently.
Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds then switch sides.
3. Seated Clasping Neck Stretch
If the back of your neck and upper back are stiff, then this stretching exercise is for you.
Sit down on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Keep the spine tall and straight then press your hips firmly into the seat or ground.
Bring both hands at the back of your head and interlace the fingers.
Gently press the head down by tucking in your chin into the chest.
Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds before releasing your hands.
4. Grounded Tipover Tuck
When experiencing a stiff neck and sore shoulders, the grounded tipover tuck can provide fast relief. This stretching exercise can also be helpful at relieving headaches and drowsiness.
Kneel down with thighs perpendicular to the floor and hands placed at your sides.
Bend forward to touch the floor with the top of your head while keeping thighs raised and perpendicular to the floor.
Stretch the arms behind your back and claps the fingers together.
Hold this stretch for about 10-20 seconds and then get back into the kneeling position. Rest briefly and repeat the stretch 5 or more times.
5. Upper Back Stretch
When the upper back is strained, the neck muscles bear the brunt of supporting the weight of your head. By releasing tension in the upper back, this will ease stiffness in the neck. You can accomplish this with an upper-back stretch performed from a seated position.
Once you are comfortably seated on a chair with feet firmly planted on the ground, stretch out your arms at shoulder height in front of you and put your palms together.
Bend the upper back as though you were about to dive into a pool. Ensure also to flex your head by tucking in the chin to your chest.
Stay in this position for about 30 seconds then finish with gentle neck rotations.
A stiff neck can cause other problems such as headaches and upper back pain. To relieve tense neck muscles, make use of the stretching exercises described above. For faster relief, ensure to massage any sore muscles in your neck and shoulders as well. Individuals who experience chronic neck pain should seek medical advice before attempting any stretching exercise in order to determine the root cause of the problem and best remedies to for their condition.