We will, in this space, discuss spine health and its importance. The causes of neck pain overlap largely with those of lower back pain: poor posture, bad sporting form, working at a desk without frequent breaks. Observe your form during exercise, especially weight lifting exercises like squats. Do you jerk your neck upwards when moving up? That could also be a cause. While neck pain is quite common and ranges from mild and occasional to severe and chronic, there is good news. It can be solved with just a few adjustments to your posture and a few very simple exercises. Let’s begin:

Neck Stretches

Remember that the most prevalent cause of neck pain is poor posture. When your neck droops and your shoulders drift forward, some of the muscles in your neck become taut and tight. Prolonged poor posture affects the alignment of the vertebrae in your neck too. This exercise is to be done often throughout your day to correctly align neck muscles and bone. We hope that after being deliberate about this exercises and doing them often, your posture will naturally be better.

We recommend doing two types of stretches together. Also, these are easily done at work or during your commute.

A Side Stretch

Side Stretch

  • tilt head to one side (ear towards shoulder)
  • hold for 15 seconds
  • relax
  • repeat 3 times on each side

Note: You can also support your neck with your hand like so:

Side Stretch 2

A Diagonal Stretch

DiaNeckStretch1

  • turn head slightly and then look down as if looking in your pocket
  • hold for 15 seconds
  • relax
  • repeat 3 times on each side

 

Together, these two should be able stretch and relieve all the muscles in your neck.

Neck Strengthening

While stretching is a curative exercise, resistance training with the neck is a preventive and a corrective one. Strength training has been found, in a randomised trial in Finland, to be more effective than stretching. We will focus on strengthening henceforth and will give four exercise that will help strengthen your neck.

With an Elastic Resistance Band

Resistance Band One

  • Sit up straight in a chair and put the back of your head in the loop of the resistance band, both ends of which should be securely tied to a nearby stationary object that is level with your head.
  • Make sure your neck and back stay straight as you slightly lean forward from your hips. Your head will move forward about 1 foot.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, keeping shoulders back as you keep your neck straight.
  • Repeat 15 times

P.S: You can find resistance bands at any sports provisions store.

Chin Tuck

One of the most effective postural and strengthening exercises for combating neck pain is the chin tuck exercise. This exercise not only helps strengthen the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders (upper thoracic extensors) but it also stretches the relevant muscles.

This is also an exercise that can be done anywhere, work, home, or when travelling to work.

ChinTuck

  • Keeping the spine against the door jamb, pull the upper back and head back until the back of the head touches the door jamb. It is important to make sure that the chin is down so that the head is pulled straight back and is not looking up.
  • Hold the head against the door jamb for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat this ten times.
  • After performing this exercise in a door jamb about ten times, start doing the exercise in standing or sitting without a door jamb.
  • The exercise can be done 5 to 7 times per day.
  • When in the car, use the headrest as a point to aim for when pulling the head back.

Another Exercise With an Elastic Resistance Band

ElasrticNeck

Anchor a resistance band to a sturdy object (like a squat rack). Loop the free end of the band around the right side of your head and slowly walk away from the rack to increase tension. Push your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Keep your neck straight and hold. Repeat on the left side. Spend 30 seconds on each side.

What do you think?

comments