Why Do I Have Neck Pain?
When the muscles in your neck, chest, and upper back become weakened, tightened, and/ or elongated, your shoulders may become rounded and your head will protrude forward. This results in poor posture which puts more stress on your spine, joints, and discs, as well as the muscles and ligaments. This poor posture may lead to chronic or reoccurring neck pain accompanied by stiff joints, upper back pain, shoulder pain, and headaches.
Fortunately, most of these symptoms can be addressed by safely performing corrective neck exercises.
Preventative and Corrective Neck Exercises
Stretching your neck daily alleviates stiffness that is accompanied by neck pain.
Scalene stretch: Sit up straight and place your left hand under your thigh. Reach up with your right hand and gently place your hand on your head so the tips of your fingers are touching your left ear. Slightly pull your head toward your right shoulder with your right hand. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Do this 3 times a day, three to four times per side.
Strengthen Your Neck
Do you spend a majority of your time working at a computer or staring down at your phone? This exercise is designed to strengthen your neck that protrudes forward from working at your computer all day:
Ball wall stretch: You will need a stability ball and a sturdy wall for this exercise. Take your stability ball and place it against the wall. Get on your hands and knees and position the ball so your head is in the middle of the ball. Keep your back straight by pushing your butt out and relax your shoulders.
With slight pressure on the ball, move your head up and down 15-20 times 3 times a day. Perform three to four sets when doing this. You should feel a stretch in your neck when you lift your head.
Reduce Neck Pain
Daily low impact cardio workouts can act as a natural painkiller. To experience relief, you will need to elevate your heart rate and increase your oxygen intake during your workout. By doing this, you will increase blood flow to your body’s muscles and soft tissues which will then loosen up muscles. Your body will release endorphins that can act as a natural painkiller and reduce your neck pain.
Running or briskly walking on an elliptical for 30 minutes can help you diminish pain and can also replace your morning cup of coffee! Another low impact cardio alternative is the stationary bike with back support.
These exercises will prevent future recurrences of neck pain by maintaining a strong and flexible neck that will naturally improve your posture. Corrective exercises for everyday pain, like these, are not only a remedy for pain, but also will set you on a path to a healthier lifestyle.
Maintaining a consistent and dynamic neck exercise routine is key to cultivating a life free of neck pain. Having a personal trainer that specializes in corrective exercises is the best way to ensure relief is achieved and maintained.
Call Brian at RED Fitness at (562) 237-2907 to relieve your neck pain and start improving your quality of life today!