Neck pain affects almost everyone at some point in their life, whether it is accident related or chronic. These simple exercises can be done at home to help mitigate any neck pain you may be experiencing.
The neck is a fragile part of the body that is used often and easily tweaked. Both sudden accidents and habitual, chronic issues can contribute to neck pain. Like with any muscle, it is important to both stretch and strengthen your neck if you are experiencing any pain issues. Below are some exercises that can be easily practiced at home, but remember, if you are experiencing any severe or chronic pain, it is important to seek out the advice of a medical professional.
1. Side Rotation
This exercise works well for releasing tension held in the neck. Begin by looking straight forward and holding your head still. Turn your head to the right, and hold for 15-30 seconds. Bring your head forward again, then turn gently to face left, again holding the head for 15-30 seconds.
2. Forward and Backward Stretch
Another tension-relieving exercise is the forward and backward stretch. Begin in a standing position looking straight ahead. Slowly roll your chin to your chest, tilting your head towards the floor. Slowly bring your head back up to a straight position and then roll your head backward, tilting your chin towards the sky, looking upwards. Slowly bring your head back to the starting position. This exercise gives your neck muscles a gentle stretch in both the up and down positions.
3. Shoulder Rolls
This exercise helps to stretch the muscles at the base of your neck. Begin by standing straight with your arms held loosely at your sides. Slowly roll both shoulders forward in a circular motion, do multiple rotations and then rest your shoulders in the beginning position. After forward rolls, repeat the same process but this time roll your shoulders towards your back in a circular motion.
4. Head Lifts
Head lifts are similar to the forward and backward stretches but focus more on strengthening rather than stretching. First, position yourself lying on the floor flat on your back, looking straight up. Once positioned, slowly roll your chin forward, lifting your head off the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds before gently lowering your head back to the floor. This exercise uses your body weight to strengthen the neck muscles.
While stretching and strengthening exercises are important, don’t forget your before and aftercare. It’s recommended to use heat to loosen up the muscles before your exercises and cool down after using ice to help prevent increased inflammation. Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine will help manage your pain. Adding a regular visit to the chiropractor can serve as an important addition to your physical and mental health regimen, both to prevent and manage neck pain. Contact Integrated Solutions to work with a specialist on creating a plan that works best for you.