Neck Stretches for Stiff Neck

A stiff neck is usually experienced early in the morning while waking up from bed. There are several causes that can lead to this condition. It can be due to stress, wrong position of sleeping, injury, etc. These days, spending hours together in front of the computer is the most common reason. Though it is not a fatal or serious health problem, it causes too much discomfort, and the neck aches a lot. A stiff neck can be either acute or chronic.

There are many remedies to get rid of the pain and ache caused due to this stiffness. These remedies include ice treatment, massage therapy, medications, exercises, etc. Neck stretches not only reduce the pain, but also increase the flexibility and range of motion in the neck. Let us take a look at some useful neck exercises.

Easy Stretches

Exercises for stiff neck are very easy to perform and are helpful in many ways. These exercises reduce the stress on the muscles and tendons present in the neck. Thus, they bring flexibility and also reduce the inflammation in the neck, if any. All these exercises are similar with their starting positions, it’s just the direction of the head that differs. Given below are some stretches.

Neck Tilt

  • Stand in an upright position, and keep your hands on your thighs.
  • Now, gently move your head towards your right shoulder.
  • You can use your hand to assist the motion.
  • Once you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck muscles, stop the motion.
  • Hold the position of 10 – 15 seconds, and then repeat the steps for left side.

Neck Extension

  • Stand straight with shoulder-width apart distance between your feet.
  • Keep your hand crossed on your buttocks.
  • Slowly, move your head in a backward direction facing towards ceiling.
  • Once you feel a stretch in the frontal portion of your neck muscles, stop the motion.
  • Hold your neck in this position for 10 – 15 seconds.

Neck Flexion

  • Stand in a straight position, and keep a shoulder-width distance between your feet.
  • Place your hands on your buttock crossed to each other.
  • Move down your head, and look towards your toes.
  • Your chin should touch upper part of your chest.
  • Once you feel a stretch in the back of your neck muscles, stop the motion.
  • Hold this position for 10 – 15 seconds.

Side Flexion

  • Stand in an upright position.
  • Now, keep your left hand on your left cheek, and gently tilt your head towards right shoulder such that your right ear reaches your right shoulder.
  • Once you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck muscles, stop the motion.
  • Hold the position of 10 – 15 seconds, and then repeat the steps for left side.

You can also perform the above exercises on a comfortable chair. Pay special attention to your breathing while performing these exercises. See to it that you keep your back in a straight position.

These exercises will relieve the pain and ache in the neck by loosening and strengthening the neck muscles. If a stiff neck is a cause of chronic condition, then exercises may not help in relieving the pain. If you experience prolonged stiffness even after performing the exercises, consult a physician. The pain can be because of some other health problem too. You can avoid a stiff neck by sleeping in proper positions, taking enough breaks during stressful work routines, etc.

Jenny Power - MD Health And Fitness Writer Jenny believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why she is dedicated to tackling the root causes of all health and fitness related problems. Our team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience. Dr. Jenny is a practicing Medical Doctor, a four-time #1 Health and Fitness bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in her field. She is the the founder of Healthy Plus Website, chairman of the board of the Institute for Natural Health Medicine, a medical editor of The Washington Post, and was a regular medical contributor on many television shows.

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