Category: Neck Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Dealing with a stiff neck can complicate everyday activities. Sometimes a stiff neck is more problematic in the morning, while other times it is exacerbated by activity. Regardless of why it sets in, we’ve compiled some tips that will help alleviate the stiffness by increasing your neck’s range of motion. Here are four helpful tips to alleviate pain and increase range of motion in the neck.
You can gradually increase your neck’s range of motion by slowly rotating it in a circular fashion. Now, obviously the diameter of the rotation is dependent on how much pain you’re feeling in your neck. You want to find a middle ground between no pain and sharp pain when performing neck rotations. If you’re not feeling any discomfort, you’re not pushing your neck past its normal range of motion, but push it too far and you may do more harm than good. Find a happy medium, and rotate your head slowly both clockwise and counterclockwise.
Resistance training can also help increase your neck’s range of motion. You can perform resistance exercises with a band, a cloth or even your hand. As you might imagine, the goal of resistance exercise is to push your neck outside of its comfort zone while still providing support. Put your band or hands behind your neck, and lean your head back while providing some forward resistance. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds, then move your head to a different position and continue.
Sometimes an issue with your neck is being caused by a problem where your neck meets the shoulder muscles. Tightness in this area can lead to a stiff neck, and the best way to get rid of that tightness is to stretch your neck horizontally. Stretch your neck to the left, reach your left hand over your head and apply some moderate downward pressure, holding your neck against your left arm. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and then do the same on your right side. Do this 3-4 times on each side.
Posture care helps prevent neck stiffness from settling in. If you spend a lot of time at a desk, typing on a laptop or reading a book, be cognizant of where your head is positioned. If your neck is positioned in front of your shoulders, it’s going to put extra stress on your neck. Keep your head positioned directly above your neck when you’re at the office or in the car, and you’ll notice that neck pain is less frequent.
For more tips on increasing your neck’s range of motion, contact a back specialist in your area.