Four Simple Exercises to Get Relief from Neck Pain

Having bad posture, being stressed, or moving improperly can cause neck pain. However, these exercises could actually give you immediate relief.

Neck pain is very common and very uncomfortable. It varies in intensity, sometimes getting so bad that it’s truly unbearable. It often feels like shooting pain that gets worse over time, and it ends up making it hard to get the sleep you need.

If you want to get some relief, here are some suggestions. These exercises are so simple that you’ll be able to do them at home by yourself.

Are you ready?

Causes of neck pain

Neck pain and stress headaches.

If you have neck pain and are wondering why, take a look at these causes to determine which one might be the case for you. That way, you’ll be more likely to be able to fix it as soon as possible.

  • Poor posture. You may have bad posture for one or many reasons, including having your computer screen at the wrong height and distance.
  • StressStress, whether from work or personal problems or something else, sometimes ends up causing neck pain.
  • Moving improperlyIf you make a sudden movement or do a certain exercise wrong, it could give you neck pain. Then, this kind of pain can be aggravated and maintained by poor posture at the computer, for example.

Exercises to get relief from neck pain

1. Neck rotations

Neck pain.

Take advantage of any free moment you get during the day to do this exercise. It’s best to do it seated in a chair, with your back straight and supported. As for your arms, keep them relaxed and rest them on your legs.

  • Bring your chin towards one of your shoulders and twist your head to one side and then the other.
  • Repeat several times, at least 5 times to each side.

2.  Side flexes

Side flexes help give your back more support. 

  • To do them, sit on a chair and then try to make your ear touch your shoulder.
  • Place your hand on your head to help, but doing force it; be gentle.
  • Repeat with the other side.

3. Forward and back stretches

A woman stretching her neck.

Moving your head forward and back will also help release tension in your neck.

  • To do it properly, lean your head back and look at the ceiling.
  • Then, gently return to your starting position and then lean your head the other way, looking at the floor.
  • For this exercise to work, you’ll have to relax your jaw by exhaling slowly and not rounding your back.

4. Relax your shoulders

Make circular movements with your shoulders, rotating them both directions. As you do so, don’t round your back; keep it straight. Do 10 reps.

This should release tension in your shoulders and thus make your neck pain better.

Other important tips

A woman getting a back massage.

Outside of these exercises that will help stretch your neck muscles and surrounding muscles, there are other ways to release muscular tension and relax, too. For example, one good option is yoga.

Alternatively, you could get a massage. Not all of us can get professional massages, but if you massage yourself, it can be even more effective. If you have the chance to see a physical therapist, great, but if not try your hand at it yourself. Locate the area with tension and then gently massage.

Apply hot compresses to the area or try using a hair dryer. 

Avoid carrying too much, like a heavy backpack or purse, if you can. If you do have to carry something heavy, don’t forget to lift with your legs and not your back.

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