Exercises to Improve Neck Pain and Stiffness

Neck pain occurs for a number of reasons, ranging from mild to severe. Whether it’s bone or joint abnormality, trauma, or muscle strain, you’ll likely want relief as quickly as possible. Before you decide which relief method is best, it’s best you receive a proper diagnosis. There are multiple methods used to determine the cause of neck pain, including x-rays, which identify tumors, arthritis, and fractures. You can also get a magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, procedure. These reveal tendon and ligament damage.

An MRI also shows neural damage, which may be a cause of neck pain. Once diagnosed and exercise is approved by your healthcare provider, you can begin neck exercises. It’s best you begin as soon as you’re cleared, especially if you’re experiencing stiffness. The longer you wait, it becomes more difficult to exercise and even move. It’s also important you don’t exercise with severe neck pain.

If you’re exercising and neck pain worsens or you feel your arms or hands weaken, immediately stop and seek emergency care. When you begin exercising, your pain should disappear within a couple of weeks. You should, however, continue these exercises for at least six to eight weeks. Practicing these exercises trains your neck and keeps pain away.

Neck Exercises for Pain Relief

A great way to relieve neck pain involves stretching. Stretching cures stiffness as well as improves range of motion. Whether you have pain or feel it coming, adding stretching to your routine will cause improvement.

Seated Neck Release

To start, sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Extend one of your arms to the corresponding knee. Place your opposite hand on your head and gently tilt your head in the same direction. As you stretch, gradually increase the amount of pressure but make sure you don’t strain. After holding for 30 seconds, return to the resting position and repeat on the other side. If you’re unable to do this stretch on the ground, do it on a chair. Instead of placing your hand on your knee, simply place it on the edge of your chair.

Behind the Back Neck Stretch

This stretch allows you to relieve deep stress in your neck. Another benefit of this stretch is you can do it anywhere. Stand and spread your legs hip width. Take your arms from resting by your side to behind your back and use one hand to grab the opposite wrist. As you pull your arm away from your body, slowly lower your same-side ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Head Lifts

Begin this exercise by lying on the floor. Make sure your knees are bent with the soles of your feet touching the ground. Keep your shoulders on the ground and repeatedly lift and lower your head. You can switch it up and lay flat on your stomach or on your side.

Core Exercises

Oftentimes, your core strength has a direct correlation to neck pain. When your core is weak, your neck has to work harder to support your head. Therefore, core exercises can also help improve neck pain. Sit ups, one of the most popular exercises, increases core muscle strength. The key to a perfect sit up is proper form. Proper sit ups start on your back with your knees bent. Take your arms from resting by your sides and cross them over your chest. Bend your waist as you sit up to avoid hurting your neck. You can also do sit ups at the gym. They have machines that allow you to even do sit ups uprightly. Set the machine on a comfortable weight and push the padded bar on your chest towards your thighs. Adjust your weight if you’re unable to do at least eight reps.

Safety Precautions

Neck pain can be from a variety of causes. Using these exercises regularly should eliminate pain, stiffness, and improve range of motion. Practice for at least six to eight weeks to minimize risk of your pain returning. If your pain grows in severity, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Your physician can assess the underlying cause and find a solution. If you’ve been in an accident or experience trauma to your neck, seek immediate care immediately. Everyday preventative neck care also helps avoid neck injury. Be sure to sleep with your head aligned with your body, practice good posturing, and refrain from putting excess strain on your shoulders. Ready to get started? Call them today at 205-637-1363.

Call Now ButtonCall Now