4 Neck Stretches to Reduce Neck Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common pains among Australians in this era. Often caused by looking at our electronic devices, bad posture, and poor workplace ergonomics, our necks become sore, tense, and tight which can lead to headaches and restricted movement or flexibility. However, there are a few simple stretches you can try at home or the office to help loosen those muscles.
#1. Chin Tuck
The chin tuck is among the most effective posture exercises for alleviating neck pain. It focuses on strengthening the muscle that can help realign your head with your shoulders while stretching the scalene and suboccipital muscles. While standing with your chin parallel to the floor, pull your upper back and head backwards. Bring your chin back like you’re creating a double chin and ensure that your head is straight, not looking up. Push the base of your skull away from your neck. This should stretch the back and side of your neck. This exercise can be repeated several times throughout the day and is especially important when the neck and shoulder blades first begin to hurt. When you are comfortable with the exercise, you may even begin to perform is sitting down which can be useful if you begin to feel pain while sitting at your desk during work hours.
#2. Tilts & Rotations
For simple stretches, you can try the forward-backward tilt and the side tilt. As the name suggests, the forward-backward tilt requires you to slowly and smoothly lower your chin toward your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds before lifting your head toward the ceiling and holding for 10 seconds. The side tilt is when you lower your head to your shoulder, trying to get your ear to touch without lifting or raising your shoulder. This is to be repeated on both sides. Either can be performed while sitting or standing and may be repeated several times throughout the day.
Once you feel you have stretched your neck with the tilts, you can try a side rotation. Slowly turn your head to one side until you feel the stretch in your neck or shoulder. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on each side up to 10 times.
#3. Shoulder Roll
The shoulder roll is great for improving mobility in your shoulders and neck. You start by raising your shoulders up towards your ear like a shrug and drop them forward before moving them backward and bringing them back up to the shrug position. Essentially, you are creating forward circles. Do this six times before you reverse it and do six backward rolls.
#4. Corner Stretch
A little bit more of a complicated stretch, the corner stretch is intended to release any tension in the shoulders and chest that can be causing neck pain. Standing two feet from the corner of a room with your feet together, lean forward to place your forearms on each wall with your elbows just below shoulder height. Leaning in as far as you can, without pain, you should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders and into your chest. Hold this position for about 30 seconds before slowly releasing. This stretch can be repeated up to five times per day.
It’s important that you don’t feel any pain when performing these stretches. If you do, it is best to seek medical advice from our team at Gonnet Chiropractic as there may be underlying issues. These stretches are intended to do just that, stretch the muscles, which should not be a painful experience. Any pain may be a sign of a spinal misalignment that our team are well practiced in healing. For more information, please give our team a call on (07) 3886 4300 to see how we can help.