Exercises and Advice to Relieve Neck and Back Pain

When you do exercises to relieve neck pain, you should take into account how you feel and adapt the exercises according to your possibilities to avoid making the situation worse.

Back and neck pain is one of the most common problems today, and this is principally due to bad posture.

Spending many hours sat in front of the computer with your back in the wrong position and your head tilted down is the main cause of experiencing rigidity in the neck and back.

It is important to strengthen the muscles and give them flexibility. The muscle that plays this role in the neck is the trapezius muscle, and so it is also this muscle that is responsible for headaches when it is tense and rigid.

Causes of neck and back pain

  • Weakness in the neck muscles.
  • Lack of flexibility and bad posture for hours at a time.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Stress.
  • Excess weight: being overweight and having an unhealthy diet makes the back work more and forces it, which can cause pain.
  • Sleeping with an unsuitable pillow.
  • Emotional problems: they cause stress and depression and therefore lead to rigidity and pain in this area.
  • Inheritance: some causes of back pain may be genetic due to diseases that affect the spinal column.

Exercises to relieve the neck and back

1. Rotation

This exercise stretches the muscles on both sides of the neck.

  • We can do it sitting in a chair.
  • Gently move the head slowly towards one side and then to the other.

As far as possible, we should stretch the neck as much as we can.


2. Shoulder lifts

  • Lift your shoulders as if you were trying to touch your ears, hold them there for a few seconds and then relax.
  • After relaxing the shoulders, repeat the exercise.

This exercise will help you to reduce pain that extends through the whole back.

3. Forward neck stretches

  • We should do this exercise sitting down and start with the head straight.
  • Then drop the chin towards the chest and maintain the position for a few seconds.
  • Return to the initial position with the head straight to rest and then repeat the exercise.

4. Backward neck stretches

This exercise gives flexibility to the neck muscles. It is important to keep the back supported against the chair.

  • Tilt the head backward, sustain the posture for a few seconds and come back to the center.
  • It is essential to do this slowly.

5. Sideways neck stretches

  • Here we’re going to tilt the neck to one side so that it nearly touches the shoulder, which should be relaxed.
  • We sustain the position for a few seconds and then we tilt the head to the other side.
  • We can use the opposite hand to help stretch further.

Advice to prevent neck and back pain

Learn to breathe better

Adequate breathing will help a lot to relax the body and eliminate tensions, which are often the cause of pain.

Self-massage

If we don’t have anyone who can give us a massage, giving ourselves a massage in the affected area can be very effective.

  • Press on the right shoulder with the left hand, tilting the head gently to the left.
  • Press lightly with the fingers and make gentle movements from the neck down to the shoulder, then in the other direction.

Apply an anti-inflammatory gel or cream to the area

It is also advisable to place a tepid or warm herbal pillow on the area, without letting it burn. This simple act is very effective for relaxing the muscles and relieving pain.

Do exercise

It’s really good to be in movement, to walk, swim or jog… Of course, without forgetting to do stretches afterward.

This way we increase the blood flow to the area of the body that is rigid.

Sleep well

Good rest is essential to allow the body to recover and so prevent shoulder and back pain.

If you have trouble sleeping, try preparing a valerian tea. There is a great variety of herbs that can help you sleep naturally.

Maintain a healthy weight

Try to lose weight if you are overweight in order to reduce the demand on your body.

Maintain good body posture

To avoid pain it is essential to bear this in mind. Always pay attention to your posture: sit up straight with the head upright and keep your shoulders back.

Avoid lifting heavy objects

If you do so, remember to bend your knees and keep your back straight.

If the pain continues over the course of several days, it is advisable to see a specialist that can give you a complete examination and recommend a suitable treatment.