Neck pain can be one of the most difficult things to deal with and can progress to high levels of disability if not treated properly.
Here are five stretches and exercises that can help reduce neck pain:
1. Levator Scapulae Stretch
Begin in a seated position and tuck the arm of the side of the neck that will be stretched behind your back or to your side. Rotate your head away from the side that is going to be stretched and with the other hand gently pull your head down toward your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds.
2. Chin Tuck
Begin in a seated position. Slowly move your head backward until it is as far as you can go comfortably while keeping your chin tucked. Be sure you aren’t tilting your head backward instead. Hold this tucked position for 3 seconds then relax back into the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
3. Thoracic Foam Roll
Begin by laying across the foam roll so that it is positioned perpendicular to your body. Begin with the foam roll in the middle of your back and support your head with your hands laced behind. Gently roll forward and back, pushing with your legs, as you move along the foam roller from your mid-back to your shoulder blades. It is helpful to keep your back and arm muscles relaxed. Repeat for 20-30 rolls.
4. Foam Roll Pec Stretch
Lie lengthwise along the foam roller so that your head and spine are supported. Place your arms out to the side with palms facing up and hold that position for a minute. Feel free to try other arm positions or angles so that you get the most out of the stretch.
5. Open Book
Begin by lying on your side with knees bent and hands together, directly in front of you. Slowly lift your top arms towards the ceiling, rotating through your chest and upper back as far as you can. Make sure you follow your arm movement with your head, keeping eyes focused on the hand through the entire exercise. Repeat 10 times on each side.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
If you are experiencing neck pain, physical therapy is proven to help. Here at Advanced Orthopedic our patients with neck pain on average, see a 97% improvement in neck function as measured by the Neck Disability Index. Upon scheduling an appointment the physical therapist will evaluate you then work with you to develop a treatment plan that implements a combination of manual therapy and exercise. For more information click here to check out our services. If you have further concerns or questions sign up for a free screen and start your journey to recovery today!
J Man Manip Ther. 2011 Aug; 19(3): 135-42. doi: 10.1179/204268611Y.0000000011