The 4 Best Exercises to Alleviate Neck Pain and Stiffness
By Gavin Noble, Gav Noble Physiotherapy
As a seasoned physiotherapist, I’ve encountered numerous patients grappling with neck pain and stiffness – a common yet distressing ailment in today’s fast-paced world. With screens dominating our lives and posture often taking a backseat, it’s no surprise that neck discomfort has become a prevalent issue.
But fear not! I’m here to share four effective exercises that can help alleviate neck pain.
Dealing with neck pain and stiffness can be a real bother, affecting your daily activities and overall wellbeing. Fortunately, with the right exercises, you can significantly reduce discomfort and improve mobility. Here are four effective exercises that I, recommend to my clients at Gav Noble Physiotherapy.
These simple yet powerful exercises designed to strengthen and stretch your neck muscles, promoting better posture and reducing discomfort. Let’s dive in!
Check out the video of the exercises by clicking HERE.
1. Neck Retractions
This exercise is a simple yet effective way to relieve tension in your neck muscles.
– How to Do It: Sit or stand with your back straight. Gently pull your head straight back, keeping your eyes and chin level. Think of it as trying to make a double chin. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then return to the starting position.
– Repetitions: Repeat 8-10 times.
– Benefits: Neck retractions help in strengthening the muscles that align the head over the shoulders, thus reducing the strain on the neck.
2. Rotation with the Help of a Towel
Using a towel for this exercise can help increase the range of motion and provide gentle assistance.
– How to Do It: Sit in a chair with a straight back. Place a towel around the back of your neck, holding both ends in front of you. Gently use the towel to aid in turning your head to one side, ensuring you don’t push into pain. Hold for a few seconds, then gently turn to the other side.
– Repetitions: Repeat 5 times on each side.
– Benefits: This exercise improves neck mobility and can help alleviate stiffness, especially if you have limited neck rotation.
3. Side Flexion
Side flexion works on the lateral muscles of your neck and can be quite relieving.
– How to Do It: Stand or sit upright. Without turning your head, tilt it to one side, bringing your ear towards the shoulder. You should feel a gentle stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Hold for 15-20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
– Repetitions: Do this 3 times on each side.
– Benefits: It stretches and strengthens the muscles on the sides of your neck, aiding in better flexibility and pain relief.
4. Rotation with Flexion
This exercise combines rotation and flexion, targeting multiple muscle groups in the neck.
– How to Do It: Sit upright. Turn your head to one side and then gently lower your chin towards your chest, creating a diagonal angle. You should feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
– Repetitions: Do 5 repetitions on each side.
– Benefits: This exercise helps in relieving tension in the upper neck and stretching the muscles that are often tight and contribute to headaches and neck pain.
Consistency is key when it comes to these exercises. Do them regularly, ideally twice a day, and you should notice a significant improvement in your neck pain and stiffness. Remember, if any of these exercises cause pain or if your condition worsens, it’s important to seek professional advice.
Stay healthy and keep moving!