Ever wake up feeling like your neck is so stiff that it’s actually immobile? Obviously, many people have, and often attribute that to sleeping the “wrong way,” poor posture, or even sciatica. Of course, neck pain can be a sign of something more serious, like a cervical spine disorder or a herniated disk. However, it’s very likely that you can ease the pain on your own. Here is a list of some simple exercises that can loosen you up and eliminate the pain:
5 Easy Exercises to Get Rid of A Stiff Neck
1. Static Back:
First, lie down on the floor. Then, put your legs up on a chair, or an ottoman, with your knees bent at ninety degrees. Next, place your arms at shoulder level with your palms up. Stay in this position until your back settles into the floor. Ultimately, this position will allow the muscles in your neck and back to decompress and release. Stay on the floor for about fifteen minutes.
2. Static Extension Position:
First, get down on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Then, walk your hands out about six inches in front of you. Next, shift your body forward so your shoulders are right above your wrists. Your hips should be slightly in front of your knees. Next, lock your elbows out straight and let your shoulder blades collapse. Arch your back slightly and relax your stomach. Let your head hang, allowing your neck muscles to release. Hold this position for two minutes without allowing your elbows to bend.
3. Chin Nod Exercise:
Lie down with a pillow under your head and bend your knees. Then, nod your head toward your chest very slowly until you feel your muscles harden. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat as needed.
4. Side Bend Exercise:
Stand up with your shoulders down and relaxed. Then, slowly tilt your head from side to side while facing forward. Repeat as needed.
5. Behind The Back Neck Stretch:
First, stand with your feet hip distance apart with your arms at your sides. Then, reach both hands behind your backside and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Next, using your right hand, gently straighten your left arm and slightly pull it away from you. Slowly lower your right ear towards your shoulder. Hold this for thirty seconds and then switch sides.
3 Common Causes of Neck Pain
1. Poor Posture
Most of us don’t think about our posture. Nowadays, we spend so much time sitting in cars, at computers, in front of the TV, staring at our phones, and more.
With poor posture, the way you sit moves your spine out of its natural position. As a result, this position places your head in front of your shoulders instead of above them.
When your head hangs too far forward, your neck muscles and upper back strain. Additionally, it stretches the spinal cord and nerves, creating compression, discomfort, and pain.
2. Sleeping On Your Stomach
The way you sleep can create serious problems for your neck, especially if you’re a stomach sleeper. Sleeping on your stomach places a tremendous amount of stress on your neck.
Also, to sleep on your stomach, you have to turn your head and neck fully to the side. This position puts your neck at an awkward angle that pulls the muscles and bones in the neck.
Your neck will react to this awkward sleeping position by being stiff and sore every morning. Over time, this pain will persist throughout the day.
3. Tech Neck
Of course, it may sound silly, but “tech neck” is no joke. Like most people, you probably spend countless hours hanging over a computer or staring down at your phone.
Looking down at devices pulls your head too far forward, straining your neck. Over time, tech neck can become a serious danger to your neck health. The extra pressure on the upper spine can cause discs to slip out of place. Also, they can bulge or herniate over time.
As the discs bulge or slip out of place, nearby nerves become irritated or compressed. Pain, weakness, or numbing in the shoulders or arms from pinched nerves, called cervical radiculopathy, can result. Ultimately, in serious cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.