If a simple twitch of your neck has left you straining, slouching on laptops and smartphones (hello Tech neck) may be to blame. A stiff neck can result in tension headaches as well as soreness that can result in an uncomfortable day.
Here’s how you can utilize neck stretches to ease everyday neck discomforts.
Have neck discomfort? Stretches to help
Neck pain is quite frequent — around one in three people have it at one point or another. But addressing it isn’t as easy as turning off your mobile or not using your computer for a long period. Studies show that stretching could be the solution.
In a study from 2016 of office workers, those suffering from neck pain performed stretching exercises for the neck and shoulder five days per week. After one month, the participants reported less discomfort and improved neck performance.
How to stretch your neck
If your spine and neck are out of balance Try these stretches for relief.
1. Upper trap stretch
This stretch helps stretch and straighten your neck and cervical spine. If you’re suffering from pain, tension, or stiffness -particularly if it’s associated with the sensation of a “pinched” feeling — this stretch could be what you’re seeking.
- Sit or standup, making sure that your upper body stays standing straight and strong. Let your left hand hang by your side.
- Make use of your right hand to gently hold your head’s top just above your left the ear.
- With a controlled and steady pace and control, you can pull your head towards the right side of your shoulder. You should notice a slight stretching through your neck.
- Keep it for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side. Perform 2 or 3 reps for each side.
2. Stretching the bow and arrow
You don’t have to be Katniss Everdeen to get the benefits of stretching with a bow and arrow. This stretch targets shoulders lower back, upper back, cervical spine, and lumbar spine to ease neck tightness. It’s great for enhancing spinal mobility, particularly following an injury.
- Maintain your posture and keep your legs at shoulder width apart, and your knees bent in front of you.
- Reach both arms out towards the front.
- With your arms fully extended, draw left elbow towards your body, as if shooting an arrow or bow. (Keep your thighs in the middle.)
- Start to move your body to the left, then extend your the left hand behind you in the twist.
- For about 10 seconds, hold the position and then bring your left arm behind you, and repeat on the other side. Perform 3-5 repetitions for each side.
3. Chin tuck
This stretch eases the tension on your neck muscles, increasing the length of your neck. It also helps improve your posture and head posture. Watch: You’ll be able to achieve an ethereal grace within a matter of minutes.
- Straighten your spine and stand tall.
- Make sure you gently press your chin into your neck. ( Pro tip: You’ll probably be sporting a double-chin, if you’re doing it correctly.)
- Keep it for 5 seconds and then let it go.
- Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.
4. Neck extension
A neck bend can be yet another posture that can help relieve strain in the neck. At a minimum, it will provide temporary relief. In time, it could help improve your posture and mobility.
- Straighten your spine. Move your head gently backwards while looking towards the sky.
- Keep it for 5 seconds before returning to the position you started from.
- Repetition 5-10 times.
5. Shoulder roll
If you are unsure, take it to the floor. Shoulder rolls ease tension in your neck and shoulders. They are particularly helpful in relieving headaches caused by tension or caused by pinched nerves.
- By maintaining a good posture, you can keep your shoulders straight and raise them upwards. Then, roll them back down.
- Repeat the process 5 or 6 times.
- Repeat the process in reverse.
6. Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose is a stretch that stretches the neck’s back which relieves the tension as well as tightness. It also opens your shoulders, chest, and spine for better flexibility and alignment.
- Lay on your back, with arms by your sides, with your palms facing down.
- Place your knees on your knees and put your feet flat on the ground, about hip width apart.
- Put your hands and feet into the floor to raise your hips.
- Inhale deeply and then lift your hips up slightly higher. Maintain this posture for at minimum 30 seconds while keeping your core firm throughout the workout.
- Slowly lower down to the floor, first booty.
7. Wall angels
If you do it repeatedly and repeatedly, wall angels may help you improve your posture. Because poor posture is the source of numerous neck, back and headache issues You’ll be climbing to a stress-free height within a matter of minutes.
- Set your back against the wall. The ideal is for your feet to meet the wall, but make sure to get them as far as possible to finish the stretch.
- Make yourself into an angel: Spread your arms in an “T” against the wall. Bend your elbows in order in a 90-degree bend.
- Your arms will move both up and down, in the traditional”snow angel” motion. Make sure you maintain the “wings” glued to the wall as you spin.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
When should you perform neck stretching?
The main takeaway
If your phone or WFH habits are causing you chronic neck pain taking the time to stretch regularly throughout the day may aid. However, if the pain persists or worsens, you should consult the doctor or a physical therapist.