There are a number of effective neck pain exercises that can bring you relief from general neck pain. Depending on the cause of your pain, performing these exercises properly can eliminate discomfort and give you much more mobility in your neck. Of course, you should always check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercises particularly if you are not sure of just what is causing your pain. For minor injuries such as whiplash or muscle strain and for tension and stress relief, these exercises can be quite effective.
It is important that you perform your neck pain exercises properly. Not doing so will not only affect their effectiveness but could also cause you serious injury to your neck, upper back, and shoulders. Be certain that you follow all instructions for the exercises correctly and never overdo any exercise that involves your neck or upper back. The exercises themselves are designed to restore your mobility or movement in the neck and to help you to strengthen the muscles in your neck, shoulders and upper back.
When to Stop
If at any time while performing neck pain exercises you become dizzy or lightheaded, you should discontinue the exercise immediately and contact your doctor. You should also stop exercising and notify your physician or physical therapist if you notice a sudden pain shooting down your arm, weakness or numbness in the arm or hands, severe neck pain or a headache that is uncommon or becomes severe.
Properly Performing the Exercises
When performing your neck pain exercises you should move slowly and smoothly. Never jerk the head or neck. You want to exhibit control over your exercises to ensure that you are doing them properly. Keep your jaw and mouth relaxed while exercising and hold your shoulders gently backward and downward so that they are completely relaxed. Try to keep the exercises consistent on both sides. If you have one side of your neck that is sorer or stiffer than the other, simply do the exercises as evenly as possible for your range of motion.
Many neck pain exercises can be done lying down. You can place a soft pillow under your neck for support and another under your knees to keep them bent. Chin nod exercises are very effective and easily done. Simply nod your head slowly as if you are agreeing with someone. You should feel the muscles in the front area of your neck moving. You should stop the movement just as you feel those muscles begin to tighten. Hold this position for five seconds and then relax your head and neck. Move your head gently back to its normal position and begin again. It is recommended that you do ten repetitions of this exercise daily for increased mobility and pain relief.
Rotating Your Head
Head rotation neck pain exercises also give you increased mobility and range of motion. You simply turn your head gently from side to side as if you are looking both ways across a busy street. Turn your head as far as you can without actually putting undue pressure on the neck. You want your chin to be in line with your shoulder when your head is turned to the side. Hold each turn for five seconds and repeat this exercise ten times daily for added mobility.
There are also a number of neck pain exercises that you can do while sitting. These are excellent for performing while at work and will help to improve your posture, alleviate pain and give you a wider range of motion. Begin with the posture exercise. Sit up straight so that your back is stiff and tall. Draw your shoulders backward and downward and gently tuck your chin into your chest. Hold this position for five to ten seconds and repeat up to ten times. You can actually perform this exercise multiple times each day to relieve tension in the neck, upper back, and shoulders and prevent pain in the future.
Retraction neck pain exercises are also done while sitting and will give you more movement over time. Drawing your head backward, slide your chin down and keep your nose pointing straight out in front of you. You should feel the movement at the base of your neck. Repeating this exercise ten times each hour or so will help you to feel more relaxed and alleviate tension and pressure that normally accompanies sitting in the same position for hours at a time. You can also rotate your neck several times each day by simply moving the head gently from one side to the other. This is similar to the exercise done while lying down and repeated ten times for each repetition.
Neck Strengthening Exercises
Neck strengthening exercises are an excellent choice for those looking for effective neck pain exercises. These will help you to strengthen your neck which will, in turn, give you a wider range of motion and help to eliminate pain flare-ups in the future. When performing strengthening exercises it is important that you keep your chin relaxed and do not make sudden jerking movements. These exercises can be done by standing, sitting or kneeling and will help you to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your neck, upper back and shoulders.
Doing your neck pain exercises properly is essential for effective pain relief as well as to avoid any injury to your neck or upper back area. If you are unsure of how to properly do your exercises, check with your doctor or physical therapist prior to beginning. It is also important that you check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program if you are unsure of what is causing your pain. In rare cases, serious and potentially life-threatening illness could contribute to neck, upper back, and shoulder pain. Be certain that you know where your pain is coming from before you begin treating it yourself. If you feel slight pain or discomfort during your exercises, particularly when first beginning your exercise program, you can take over the counter medication to relieve pain and apply ice after exercising to reduce inflammation.
The Best 4 Exercises for Neck Pain at Home, Last Updated: 21/9/2017