Chronic neck pain can be debilitating. The pain can turn even the simplest of daily activities into a painful nightmare. Fortunately, a neck exercise program can help you prevent and manage chronic or recurrent neck pain. The following four exercises can strengthen your neck muscles and help relieve existing neck pain.
Dorsal Glide targets the back of the neck. To do this exercise, sit or stand tall looking straight ahead. Tuck in your chin and glide your head backwards without looking down or up. Hold for five seconds, then relax for up to ten seconds. Repeat 8-12 times.
Side and Diagonal Neck Stretches
Relax your shoulders by lightly holding on to your chair. Tilt your head toward your shoulder for a side stretch. To do a diagonal neck stretch, tilt your head diagonally toward your breast. For each kind of neck stretch, hold for about 15-30 seconds and repeat two to four times toward each shoulder or each side of your chest.
Chest and Shoulder Stretch
Sit or stand tall and slowly tuck your chin. Simultaneously, glide the head backward. Raise your arms to put your hands at ear level. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, lower your elbows down and behind your back. Hold for six seconds, and then rest for about 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 8-12 times.
Hands on Head
Use your left hand to exercise the muscles in the left side of the neck and your right hand when targeting the right side of your neck. Lace your fingers when stretching the muscles at the back of the neck and put the heels of both your hands against your forehead when focusing on the muscles at the front of your neck. For each exercise, your hand or hands should firmly press against your neck, and your neck should simultaneously press straight back against your hand or hands. Press for about six seconds, rest for ten seconds and repeat.
You should choose the exercise that helps you the most and do it slowly. Stop any activity that aggravates pain. Also, talk with your doctor or chiropractor in Denver if you have questions about how these or other exercises can supplement your pain management program.