Neck pain has become a common problem which is on the increase as an occupational disease owing to out constant hours of work on the computer. There are many other reasons for neck pain that include a pulled back muscle, stress and bad posture. Earlier, the only possible remedy for neck pain was rest, but now doctors have changed their opinion as they recommend movement and exercise as opposed to rest. There are many exercises that can alleviate neck pain and help you get back on track. Here are some exercises that will definitely help you ease you neck pain and bring in some relief.
Neck flexion exercise
Neck flexion exercises are simple neck stretching exercises that can be done whilst sitting or standing up. For this you are to slowly bring your chin in level with your chest and look down at the floor. Hold on to this position for a few seconds and then return to neutral position. Do this exercise 5-6 times as it helps to stretch your neck and cervical spine and loosens it. The neck area at the back can contract if it is kept in a tight position for many hours during the day, hence these basic stretches can help the muscles stretch and flex to their original position. Apart from this, there is another neck flexion exercise in which you have to look straight and then bring your ear close to your shoulder without tilting your head to the side. Do five repetitions of this exercise on either shoulder. A third exercise that improves the strength of your neck flexors would be the face-up plate raise in which you have to lie face up on a bench with your neck and head hanging form the edge. Place some light weight that should be around 2 1/2 pounds or less on your forehead. Contract your abdomen and then try to lift your head as high as you can and repeat this by doing three sets of 8-12 reps.
Neck rolling exercise
Sometimes, you might tend to feel stiffness on the back of your neck while looking down. For relieving such pain, head roll downs are great exercises that can help you to alleviate the tension at the back of the neck. The neck rolling exercises focuses on the seven cervical spine bones in our neck as it aims at opening up them up by stretching them. Head roll downs can be performed while either sitting or standing. If you want to sit and do it, then put your feet flat on the floor while seated on a chair in a straight posture. Relax your shoulder and place your hands in your lap. Perform a chin tuck as you try to bring your chin at par with your shoulder blades, whilst looked straight ahead. In another exercise you are required to first take a deep breath and then tilt your chin towards your chest and tuck it in while rolling your head down then breathe out. You could use your hand while tucking your chin towards your chest. Remember to hold the position for ten seconds before going back to neutral position. Do ten repetitions of this exercise.
Lateral neck bending exercise
Lateral neck bending exercises are good for increasing the range of motion in your neck so that you can move your ear closer to your shoulder. The first exercise is called the standing lateral neck bending stretch in which you have to stand and look straight. Then slowly pull your head towards the right shoulder with your right hand and repeat on the other side. Keep the position for 10-30 seconds on either side. The upper trapezius stretch is another lateral bending exercise which targets the trapezius and splenius muscles. For this you need to stand straight and put your right arm against your back side with you palm facing outwards. Take your left arm and grab your right hand and pull it towards the left whilst tilting your head towards the left. Hold yourself in this position for 10-30 seconds and repeat for the other side. Do not do lateral bending neck stretches forcefully if it increases your pain. Do them slowly and discontinue if you feel dizzy or sick.
Isometric neck exercise
Isometric neck exercises are head exercises that require the use of your hands for strengthening the neck muscles. These exercises are very basic and there are various ways to do isometric neck exercises in various positions. The first is keeping the neck in a neutral positions while sitting down. For maintaining a neutral position you need to look straight without tilting the head in any direction. Then slowly tuck your chin inside while maintaining the neutral position. In order to exercise your front neck muscles, begin with the neutral position and then place your palm on top of your forehead. Take a deep breath with your nose and then match the resistance of your forehead with your palm while slowly exhaling. Do ten repetitions of this exercise. Another isometric neck exercise for the back of the neck would require you to place both your hands behind you head and then to match the resistance of your head pushing backwards and your hands pushing inwards. Do ten repetitions of this.
Posture straightening neck stretch exercise
A lot of neck pain is caused by wrong posture and the posture straightening neck stretches will help you to relieve such neck pain. For this, you need to lie on your back with your head on the floor. Roll your head slowly to one side and hold the position for a couple of seconds. The roll your head to neutral position and repeat the same kind of movement for the other side. Your head should stay on the floor while performing this exercise. The you can also perform some hand-assisted exercises in which you can coax the head back to neutral position while positions backwards or downwards. These exercises should be done slowly in order to be effective. You could also do some upper torso and core exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in the abdomen, back and chest. For this pilates back extensions are very effective in which you have to pull your shoulders back and down as well as spinal twists.
Neck extension exercise
Strengthen the neck muscles by getting into an healthy habit of performing neck extension exercise. This exercise also helps you to restore the function of the neck.
Neck retraction exercise
If you want to self mobilize your spine and your neck then you should aim for the neck retraction exercise. It is one of the best ways to get rid of the neck pain. It is also one of the easiest and a cost effective method of neck pain relief.