Daily Stretching for the Neck

In any appropriate neck exercise program, certain things must be addressed.  If you have any concerns or any increase in neck pain, please check with your medical practitioner before continuing with these activities.

Neck Stretches
Flexibility and stretching exercises can expand or preserve the range of motion and elasticity in affected neck joints, and thus relieve the stiffness that leads to pain. As a general rule, neck stretching is best done every day, at the very least.  Research has shown that the effects of stretching only last about 1.5-2 hours, so if you are really needing that relief, stretches should be done several times a day.

cornerstretch1Corner Stretch:

A basic exercise that is important for stretching the chest and shoulder muscles is the corner stretch. It is performed in the corner of a room.

Stand about two feet back from the corner, facing into the corner.

Place one foot forward so that when you lean in, the weight is shared by your legs and not solely on your arms. Your forearms are placed on each wall, and elbows are a little below shoulder height.

Lean in as far as possible, keeping your hips and shoulders in alignment. There should be no pain, just a gentle stretch. You should feel a stretch in the front of the shoulders and chest.

Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds to a minute.

This stretch can also be performed with one arm at a time against a wall if no corner is available.

chintuck2Chin Tucks

One of the most effective postural exercises for combating neck pain is the chin tuck exercise. This exercise not only helps stretch the tight muscles at the front of your neck but help to improve joint motion and strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders.

With your back against a supportive surface (either wall or stable chair back), level your chin and pull your head straight back as if you were getting away from a bad smell. Do not let your chin rock up or down as this may make your symptoms worse.

Repeat this 10-12 times and every few hours during the day.  At first this may be uncomfortable so make sure to make the movements small to begin with.  As with all these activities, if symptoms worsen, discontinue and call your medical practitioner.

Now that you have improved the mobility of your neck and started to relax those muscles, it is important that you maintain these gains by ensuring that you have the best posture possible while driving and sitting. This means not only ensuring that the chairs you sit in fit properly but accommodating those that don’t.  A cushion such as the BackBone helps to provide you the postural support that most chairs and car seats are lacking.  Try it RISK FREE today.

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