Do you suffer from neck discomfort? It’s almost a standard feature of our modern-day world of smartphones and computers. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
In the latest installment of “The Fix” with physical therapist Daniel Giordano, DPT, Physical Therapist, CSCS and Samuel Chan, DPT, ATC, CSCS of Bespoke Treatments, it’s time to go for a deep, rejuvenating plunge into stretching our necks. These exercises are quick simple, easy to do, and can be done almost anyplace. If you’re eager to improve bad posture, ease tension and relieve discomfort, this is the sequence for you.
Yes, this short series of stretches is well worth your time. “These are my five most-loved techniques to relieve neck pain or tension,” says Giordano. “If you practice these exercises and do them consistently you will not only enhance our posture but also reduce tension in the neck or cervical spine,” says Giordano.
Watch the video to see an illustration of the five exercises. You can also find complete descriptions in English of the exercises 2 through 4.
5 Neck Stretches to Help Relieve Pain
- Neck C.A.R.
It is Controlled Articular Rotations. Place your chin in a downward position and begin to rotate your head upwards and down in circles. This will help increase the flexibility that your neck spine can perform. Try five to eight times on each side. Then switch to this opposite direction. If you experience discomfort at any time you should stop there and move on to the pain-free range of motion. As you progress in your fitness, you’ll be able expand the range of movement.
- Assisted Trapezius Stretch
This is a great way to strengthen two key muscles in your neck, the trap and the levator scapulae. It is a stretch that you can perform whether sitting or standing. Make sure you keep your head in neutral posture and repeat the pose in each direction.
- Assisted Levator Scapulae Stretch
The move has a similar structure to first stretch, but with slight adjustments that focus on the movement range and more blood flowing to the region. Maintain your shoulder blades in a back position as you move and repeat the same movement on the other side.
- Kneeling T-Spine Stretch
This exercise is performed using your knees. It concentrates on neck mobility, particularly the rotation of the thoracic vertebrae. Repeat the exercise on each side. If you keep doing this consistently it will help to lessen tension in your neck region.
- Prone Shoulder Extension Paused
It’s time to take on bad posture, dear friends. This stretch can help increase the range of motion of the thoracic part of the back. You can do this stretch by lying on your back and use a towel to hold your forehead up. Press your shoulders as you raise your hands off the ground. Keep your hands in the air for five seconds before repeating. This helps maintain your posture and lessen the tension in your cervical spine.
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