These simple neck exercises can make a massive difference to neck pain. In my ten years as a Chiropractor, I have given these neck exercises numerous times with great success. These exercises focus on neck mobility. If we can keep joints mobile, then that helps to prevent stiffness and even wear and tear.
If any of these exercises cause tingling or numbness in your arm or hand or dizziness, then stop that exercise and consult your Chiropractor.
Neck mobility exercises
Take your chin slowly down towards your chest and then return to the middle. Continue this movement through so that you are looking up. Repeat this motion three to five times in each direction. This helps to stretch the muscles at the back and front of your neck. This also helps to lubricate the joints and provide good movement for the discs in the neck. Stop looking up if you experience any dizziness or nausea.
Take your ear down to one shoulder slowly and then return to the middle. Continue this movement through to the other side, taking your ear down to your shoulder. Ensure that you do not bring your shoulder up to your ear and that your head stays facing forwards. This helps to stretch the muscles at the sides of the neck as well as those going across to the shoulder. Again, this provides good movement for the joints and for the disc.
Turn your head to look over one shoulder as far as you can comfortably. Return to the middle and continue through to the opposite side looking over the shoulder. Ensure that your head stays straight and doesn’t tilt backwards. This helps to maintain full turning movement in the neck and stimulates the joints. This is the area that most people have issues with as they get older. Not being able to turn the head fully in the car is where it is normally noticed.
In day-to-day life we don’t tend to use our full range of movement, so these exercises help to maintain that full range. Lubricating the joints and using the muscles and ligaments.
More advanced neck stretches
These more advanced neck stretches are useful for tightness across the tops of the shoulders. This is incredibly common, especially if you work at a desk or drive a lot.
Upper Trapezius Stretch
Take your ear down to one shoulder and use the hand from that side to apply slight downward pressure to the head. Hold this for twenty to thirty seconds and repeat twice on each side. It is often useful to do this while seated and holding onto the seat with the opposite hand. This ensures that you do not raise your shoulder up and that you don’t bend your body to the side.
Levator Scapulae Stretch
Turn your head to one side around 45 degrees and then take your chin down to your chest. Use the hand on that side to apply slight downward pressure on the back of your head. Hold this for twenty to thirty seconds and repeat twice on each side. Ensure you keep your back straight and that it does not round.
For the best results repeat these exercises daily. If you get any discomfort more than a stretch or any tingling or numbness, stop the exercises and consult your Chiropractor.
For more information on what we can do for neck pain, click here.
Yours in health,
Mykel Mason DC LRCC MChiro