If you’re like millions of Americans, you suffer from neck pain. According to the American Chiropractic Association, “Neck pain is the second most common type of pain reported (after low back pain), accounting for 22 percent of all discomfort.” And with more and more of us working from home, that number is only going to increase. This isn’t surprising when you consider that poor posture is one of the leading causes of neck pain.
Stretches For Neck Pain Relief
If you’re dealing with neck pain, there are some simple stretches you can do at home to help ease the discomfort. Read on for five easy at-home stretches to ease neck pain.
The Neck Roll
1. The Neck Roll: Start by sitting up straight and moving your head slowly from side to side, letting your chin drop towards your chest with each roll. Repeat this stretch 10 times.
The Ear-To-Shoulder Stretch
2. The Ear-To-Shoulder Stretch: Gently pull your right ear towards your right shoulder until you feel a stretch down the side of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the left side. Repeat each side 3 times.
The Chin Tuck
3. The Chin Tuck: Begin by sitting up straight and then tucking your chin down so that your head is level with your shoulders. You should feel a stretch along the back of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat 5 times.
The Jaw Release
4. The Jaw Release: Start by placing your fingers on either side of your jaw and opening your mouth wide, then close it and move your jaw from side to side. You should feel a release in your jaw and neck muscles. Repeat 10 times.
The Shoulder Blade Squeeze
5. The Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Sit up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for 30 seconds, and then release. Repeat 10 times.
Benefits of Stretching
One of the main benefits of stretching is that it increases your range of motion. When you stretch regularly, your muscles become more flexible and are better able to withstand the normal wear and tear that comes with everyday activities. This increased flexibility can lead to improved posture and reduced stiffness, both of which can contribute to decreased neck pain.
Stretching Increases Range of Motion
In addition to increasing your range of motion, stretching also supplies your muscles with oxygen-rich blood. This helps to reduce muscle tension and promote healing by flushing out toxins that can build up in your muscles and lead to pain.
Improve Posture With Stretching
Stretching can also help improve your posture by correcting muscle imbalances that may be contributing to your neck pain. Many people have tightness in their chest and shoulders, which causes their head to jut forward and creates strain on the neck muscles. Stretching these muscles can help bring the head back into alignment and ease strain on the neck.
How To Start Stretching
If you’re new to stretching, it’s important to start slowly and be gentle with your movements. It’s also important to warm up before you stretch by doing some light aerobics or walking in place for 5 minutes. As you stretch, be sure to breathe deeply and evenly. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds and avoid bouncing or jerking movements.
Some stretches should not be done if you have certain health conditions such as osteoporosis or unstable joints. If you’re not sure whether a particular stretch is safe for you, consult your doctor or a physical therapist before trying it.
Find Relief With Stretching
If you’re dealing with neck pain, there are some simple stretches you can do at home to help ease the discomfort. By incorporating these five easy at-home stretches into your daily routine, you’ll be on your way to finding relief from neck pain in no time!