As we mentioned in our last post, neck pain is a very common occurrence among Americans. In fact, more than 70% of people will likely experience neck pain in their lifetime. Left unchecked, this pain can evolve into impairment.
The cause of this neck pain isn’t always the same. For some, it can stem from past injury. For many others, however, it comes down to posture and positioning. Just tilting your neck by 15 degrees can add 27 pounds of additional pressure to your spine.
While it’s important to maintain good posture as much as possible, it’s unrealistic to keep your neck straight 100% of the time. After all, your neck and spine are designed to move. This is why stretching is critical when it comes to minimizing and managing neck pain.
Stretching isn’t just something you should do before you exercise. It’s something you should do throughout any given day. By stretching, you keep your muscles flexible and strong while loosening up your joints.
But before you go and start pulling your neck in unnatural directions, it’s important that you know how to stretch your neck. At Watkins Family Chiropractic, our chiropractors in Savage, MN have helped countless people manage and recover from neck pain.
We’ve gathered together a few effective stretches that you can easily integrate into your daily routine.
Stretches for Easing and Preventing Neck Pain
For all of these stretches, you should start by keeping your neck, back, and shoulders straight. From there, follow the directions below. Also, if you’re experiencing serious or ongoing neck pain, we recommend you see a professional immediately. If you’re injured, excessive or improper stretching could cause further harm.
For everyone else, these stretches should be performed multiple times throughout the day.
With your neck straight, slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder. Go as far as you can comfortably go without straining your neck then return your head to its starting position. Repeat this 5-10 times before switching to your right side.
While keeping your back and shoulders straight, lower your chin to your chest as far as you can comfortably go. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds before slowly lifting your head back up.
Keeping your shoulders straight, lower your left ear towards your left shoulder. Your shoulders shouldn’t move, and you should stop once you feel your muscles stretch. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds before returning your head to its natural position. Repeat this 5-10 times.
You can use your hand to apply some extra pressure. However, this should be done very gently.
Are You Dealing with Neck Pain?
While the stretches above can make a significant difference, they might not be enough for everyone. If you’re dealing with ongoing neck tension or pain, you should see a specialist. A chiropractor is trained in treating issues with the neck and spine. In addition to providing pain and tension relief, they can help equip you with additional stretches and exercises that can lead to long-lasting improvement. If you’re in need of a chiropractor in Prior Lake, Savage, or any of the surrounding communities, contact Watkins Family Chiropractic today.
Even if you’re not sure if a chiropractor is what you need, we offer free consultations where we learn more about your condition and advise you on your available options.