Do you have neck pain or stiffness after sitting all day at work? Maybe you woke up with a kink in your neck and can’t seem to turn your head to the side? If you are experiencing neck pain, stiffness, or tightness, give these exercises a try.
1. Chin tuck.
Start by lying down or in a sitting position. Tuck your chin in without bending your head forward. You should feel the muscles at the front of your neck working and a slight stretch at the back of the neck. Hold for 5 seconds, relax, and repeat.
2. Head rotation.
Use an exercise band or even a rolled up towel/belt to assist the motion (see youtube video for proper positioning.) Use the support of the theraband/towel/belt to slowly rotate your head to the side until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for 5 seconds, relax, and repeat both sides.
3. Seated shoulder external rotation.
Start in a seated or standing position. Grab an exercise band with both hands, bend the elbows to 90 degress, and keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Rotate the back of your hands outwards to put a stretch on the band. Squeeze your shoulder blades together gently to assist with the motion while keeping the top of your shoulders relaxed away from your ears. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
4. Standing row.
Use a cable machine or an exercise band. Start with elbows straight and arms out in front of you. Pull your arms towards your body by bending at the elbows. Be sure that your elbows and upper arms graze the sides of your body. Slowly release back to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Utilize the same shoulder blade squeeze as described in exercise 3 to engage your postural muscles.
5. Neck stretch.
Relax in a sitting postion and slowly bring your ear towards your shoulder by letting your head fall to the side. For a stronger stretch, put your hand on top of your head for extra weight to sink deeper into the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Disclaimer: not all exercises are appropriate for everyone. If you are experiencing increased pain or new pain with these exercises, stop the exercises and contact a health care provider, like us! Questions? Give us a call at 414-856-7044 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us here to schedule an appointment with a qualified physical therapist in downtown Milwaukee for your neck pain.