Does your neck hurt? Has it been hard for you to accurately diagnose where it’s coming from and what’s causing it? The answers are logical and surprisingly insightful. Neck pain can often be caused by tight, sore muscles in your body. Experiencing stress of any kind can typically make your muscles stiff and inflexible, which can manifest as neck pain.
Causes of Neck Pain
Overuse of your neck muscles in an inappropriate position, which is usually caused by poor posture while doing everyday activities particularly in relation to computer or laptop use, can be a prime reason for muscle strain. This can lead to muscle spasms, headaches, and restriction of neck movements, usually leading to chronic neck pain.
Another possible cause of muscle sprain of the neck is sleeping in the wrong position. This can strain the cervical chord that connects with the brain (as can be seen in the image below), leading to a lot of pain and numbness.
via All To Health
Not taking care of your neck pain can lead to headaches, nerve pain, pain in the shoulders and hands, and more serious health disorders that can potentially affect any part of the spinal chord and brain.
Let’s dive into some stretches you can do to alleviate neck pain:
1. Seated Neck Release
via Efficient Life Skills
This is a great stretch for the sides of the neck to loosen up the neck and shoulder muscles, releasing tension around the sides of the neck.
- Simply sit in a cross-legged position
- Hold the top of your head with your left hand
- Tilt your head towards the left until you feel the right side of your neck stretching
- Repeat the same step for the other side of your neck
Be careful not to apply too much pressure with your hands or you may overstretch the sides of your neck causing a muscle spasm.
2. Seated Clasping Neck Stretch
via Woodway Wellness
This can be a great stretch for the back of the neck, along the spinal chord area. And it’s especially good for people who sit at the computer for long hours.
- Sit in a cross-legged position
- Lace your fingers and clasp your hands
- Hold the back of your head
- Gently press your head forward until you feel the stretch in the back of your neck
- Hold it there for 30 seconds, then gradually lift your head to the normal position.
Again, be careful not to press your head too far forward, and always be gentle.
3. Behind The Back Neck Stretch
via TCM Cure
This a great stretch for the neck and upper, middle, and lower back.
- Stand up tall
- Hold your left wrist with your right hand on your backside
- Gently try to pull your left arm downwards with your right hand while trying to lower your right ear towards your right shoulder
- Hold for 30 seconds
Be careful not to pull your arm too hard!
4. Grounded Tip Over Tuck
This stretch can relieve headaches and drowsiness.
- Put your shins and forehead on the floor and come into what’s called a “Child Pose”
- Relax in this position for a while, then clasp your hands behind your back and stretch your arms as far back as you can
- Shift forward the weight of your body by inhaling and stay there for 5-10 seconds
- Gradually move back to your normal position.
Avoid overstretching or staying in the position for too long.
5. Seated Heart Opener
This is a great stretch for the entire back and neck. It also helps with alleviating any tension in the chest area.
- Sit on your heels
- Place your palms on the floor behind your back
- Continue to stretch your neck and head, arch your back
- Lower your head to feel the stretch while staying in the position for at least 30 seconds.
This can increase blood circulation to your neck and brain, making you feel more alert and also stretching the front of the neck.
via 30-Day Fitness Challenges
This is a great yoga pose that allows you to control how much you stretch the back of your neck.
- Lie down flat on your back and bend your knees
- Place your hands under your hips and lift your hips high
- Feel the extent of the stretch on your neck, depending on how high you lift your hips
- Stay here for 30 seconds
- Gently return to your normal position.
Take a hot bath or shower before doing these stretches to relax your muscles and increase your flexibility. This can help to make your neck muscles more nimble and facilitate the alleviation of neck pain faster!