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Do you often experience stiffness or soreness in your neck? Neck pain is one of the common types of pain in the body. A recurring neck pain often stems from poor posture while sitting at work for hours, sleeping in an awkward position or being sedentary for too long. However, simple stretches and exercises can provide much relief from the aches, alleviate the discomfort and reduce the risk for chronic pain.
If you are currently suffering from a pain in your neck or other parts of the body, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice before doing these stretches to prevent it from worsening or causing further harm.
Forward and Back Tilt
This exercise is a great way to stretch your back while sitting or standing. Keep your movement slow and smooth as this is a form of gentle stretching that will loosen up those tensed muscles.
- Sit up straight or stand tall, with your head over your shoulders and back straight.
- Slowly tilt your head forward and hold it for 15-30 seconds. Relax and slowly push your head back to its upright position.
- Next, do exactly the same thing by tilting your head backwards about 45 degrees. Hold it for 10 seconds. Then slowly lift your head back to normal position.
- Repeat both tilts about 5 times or more and recover by taking deep breaths through the nostrils.
- Do this exercise several times each day, as needed.
The back-and-forth tilt of the head helps to decompress after long hours at work. This may seem like a small stretch but don’t underestimate its effects.
Just like the forward and back tilt, the side tilt exercise releases the tension in the neck. Perform this stretch correctly while standing upright, with hands by the side and feet apart. Remember to breathe.
- First, gently tilt your head toward your right shoulder until you feel some slight tension across the neck muscles. Hold it for 5-10 seconds before going back to the start position. Make sure you don’t raise your shoulders.
- Do the same routine on the left side.
- Repeat as needed up to ten times or more if desired.
- To get the most out of your side tilt, reach across to place a hand on top of the head and press lightly with your fingertips.
The side tilt exercise doesn’t only relieve tension but it also strengthens the neck and upper back muscles and promotes good posture.
The shoulder roll is a great exercise to relax the shoulders and back. The movement is best done when standing.
- Start by raising your shoulders straight up and make 6 circles going forward.
- Go back to starting position, then switch directions by circling in reverse for another 6 times.
- Repeat these back-and-forth rolls until relief from tension sets in.
With just a few easy steps, shoulder roll can target trouble areas on your upper body, improve flexibility in joints and increase range of motion and strength in the back, neck, and chest muscles.
Forward and Back Tilt, Side Tilt and Shoulder Rolls are three easy-to-do stretching exercises that are commonly recommended for reducing neck pain and improving posture. These should be performed multiple times throughout the day, depending on the person’s comfort level and how the stretches feel. If a particular movement starts to intensify pain, discontinue immediately and try a different movement or contact your healthcare provider.
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