Neck Pain Can Be a Pain in the…Neck: Easy Stretches for Reducing Tightness
Neck Pain isn't an Isolated Experience
Human lives have largely become sedentary, which has only been aided by the technological advances made during the Covid-19 pandemic. We increasingly find ourselves on our phones, laptops, and other devices now that meetings that could have been emails have only been moved to Zoom. While staring at our assorted screens, many of us tend to overlook the importance of correct posture. It is not uncommon to wait to change anything until the neck pains that are compounded in response to our slouching can’t be avoided any longer. This is a serious matter because neck pains can cause further adjustments to one’s posture that will temporarily alleviate pain but may further contort the spine into positions that prolong and perhaps even worsen the original issue.
In America, neck pain has an annual prevalence rate among adults exceeding 30%, with 50% of these individuals continuing to experience frequent or chronic occurrences of neck pain. A suitable first action for many is visiting your nearest chiropractor for a consultation; however, many people fail to take this first step, or a similar one, because it is anticipated that their body will heal itself soon enough. The unfortunate reality is that continued bad posture will only further worsen one’s neck pain and increase the likelihood that it develops into a form of chronic neck pain. If you find yourself approaching a point of only-worsening neck pain, it may be time to intervene. Below, we present some of the easiest and most accessible stretches and corrective exercises for relieving (and ideally, healing) neck pain.
What Corrective Exercises and Stretches Can You Try?
- One quick stretch involves moving your neck forwards and backwards while facing straight. This may be performed whilst sitting or standing. Begin by slowly lowering your head until your chin touches your chest and maintain this position for 15-30 seconds. Once complete, lift your head until your chin faces the ceiling and hold this position for another 10 seconds. Return your head to its normal position and repeat these motions a few times each day. A simple stretch like this can help to ease tension in the neck that has built up overtime from sedentary positioning because each stretch allows for the muscle fibers to relax. Interventions as simple as this can help you avoid a long term neck injury.
- Sleeping in an awkward or improper position often results in left-sided or right-sided neck pain; however, this may be improved upon using a simple side rotation exercise. This exercise is particularly helpful for people who tend to experience neck pain soon after waking up, and may also be performed whilst sitting or standing. Begin by ensuring your back is kept straight and your head facing forward. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck, and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat this process by turning your head to the left side. This exercise is particularly effective if cycled through 10 times and performed everyday. Ideally, this will help improve the flexibility and mobility of one’s neck, as well as reduce the extent to which you experience morning neck pains in the future.
Implement These 2 Easy Stretches Today!
Many overlook the importance and effectiveness of stretching muscle fibers in the neck region; however, significant improvements may be seen in one’s daily life if basic stretches for neck pain like those described above are implemented immediately following the onset of pain.
Written By: Shipra Selvan
Edited By: Camden Rowe