Having a stiff or painful neck really puts a damper on your daily activities. Getting relief is probably at the forefront of your mind. A great way to relieve neck pain is by doing a series of neck stretches. Here are the benefits of therapeutic stretching for neck pain.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Many people experience neck pain and stiffness at some point. One major reason for this discomfort is poor posture. When we constantly lean forward, especially while using devices like phones or computers, it strains our neck muscles and ligaments. This strain can cause both pain and stiffness in the neck. Additionally, injuries, such as those from sports or car accidents, can result in conditions like “whiplash,” where the neck is jerked suddenly. This can stretch or tear the muscles and ligaments, leading to even more pain and stiffness.
For those suffering from this kind of discomfort, there are effective treatments available. Some people find pain relief from treatments for chronic neck issues through methods like physical therapy or medication. Methods such as stretching have done wonders for neck stiffness and pain. Additionally, chiropractic care has become a popular and effective treatment for many dealing with neck pain. Chiropractors can help adjust and align the spine, which can offer significant pain relief for many individuals. If someone’s neck pain continues, seeking out these treatments or consulting a medical professional is highly recommended.
Stretching Can Help Reduce Pain
The most obvious benefit of therapeutic stretching is that it has the potential to greatly reduce your neck pain. Stretching helps to loosen the neck muscles and shoulder blades to help relieve tense muscles. Neck stretches greatly help your neck and shoulders to gain a wider range of motion. This allows your body to relax and makes you feel like you are in less pain.
Keeps Your Muscles in Better Condition
We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” The same can be said about your neck and shoulder muscles. Keeping your neck muscles active with regular stretching and exercise keeps them strong and toned.
Those who live a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to experiencing neck and shoulder pain. That is because your muscles become weak from not using them. If you sit for long periods at a desk or even on your couch, this causes the neck and spine to become misaligned, causing you discomfort and pain.
Improves Your Posture
Stretching strengthens your muscles and encourages good posture. As your muscles become stronger and more toned, this gives your neck and back the strength they need to support your head. If you have poor posture, this places a lot of strain on your cervical spine. This creates pain in these upper vertebrae. Therapeutic stretching helps to reset this area of your spine and improves posture.
If you tend to sleep on your stomach, this can cause you to have poor posture. Stomach sleeping can also cause a Dowager’s Hump. In this case, neck stretches along with chiropractic care may be necessary to help with the pain associated with your misaligned spine.
Staves Off the Mid-Day Slump
Anyone who works a 9-5 is familiar with the dreaded mid-day slump. This is especially true for those who spend the day at a desk. By taking a stretching break in the middle of your afternoon, you can help improve your neck pain and give your body a burst of natural energy. Instead of reaching for another mug of coffee, try doing some small stretches to wake up your body and mind. We will discuss a few great stretches a little further on that you will want to add to your day.
Helps Lower Your Stress Levels
When you deal with stress, the neck area of your body takes a big hit. We tend to hold on to stress in the neck and shoulders. It makes the neck muscles contract causing discomfort due to tension. Over time, this could potentially become worse and cause chronic pain and even headaches. By taking time each day to do therapeutic neck and shoulder stretches, you will be able to release the tension that you are holding in your upper back.
Three Exercises to Help with Neck Pain
Neck exercises make a huge difference for many people who take a couple of minutes each day to add them to their daily schedule. Here are three great exercises to help with your neck pain.
- Stand in front of a wall facing forward. Lean back so that your feet are about one step in front of you.
- Head, back, and hips should touch the wall behind you.
- Raise your arms and bend them at the elbow so that your forearms are parallel to the wall.
- The backs of your arms should touch the wall as you gently raise them up above your head.
- Repeat raising your arms up and down 10-15 times.
- Once again, stand with your back against the wall.
- Stand tall and slowly draw your head back towards the wall. Avoid moving your head up and down. As you pull your chin towards the wall, you will create a “double chin.”
- Hold this position for three to five seconds, and then release.
- Repeat 10 times.
Doorway Pec Stretch
- Stand in a doorway and bend your arms at the elbows so that your forearms are parallel to the wall.
- Place your forearms on the door frame.
- Take a step forward so that your upper arms feel a slight pull from being on the door frame.
- Hold this stretching position for 20-30 seconds.
If you find that regular exercise isn’t enough to relieve your pain, look for a chiropractor who can help you with regular back adjustments. By getting adjustments to help realign your spine, you will find that it helps neck and shoulder pain. Chiropractors personalize their care and will even help you with specific exercises you can do at home.
At Better Day Chiropractic, we’re dedicated to serving you throughout your pregnancy and postpartum recovery. We also offer sports, family, and pediatric chiropractic care. If you are located in Charlotte or the surrounding areas, reach out to us today.