Studies show that at least 70 percent of the population in the USA complains about neck pain every year. Twelve percent of these individuals will find the cervical pain they suffer from completely debilitating and will cause them to take a break from their work, studies and other regular activities that they do.
Aside from having poor or incorrect posture, neck or cervical pain can be caused by certain disorders or illnesses such as degenerative disc disease, herniated disc or a pinched nerve. It can also be caused by common infections like a throat infection and rare ones, such as tuberculosis of the neck and meningitis. Injuries acquired from contact sports and vehicular accidents can also cause recurring or prolonged neck pain.
The best NYC chiropractors say that there are certain exercises that can effectively stop and relieve neck pain. These neck and shoulder stretches involve and emphasize neck retraction; they help stretch the muscles at the base of the skull and strengthen the deep muscles in the front of your neck, repairing and improving some of the damage caused by poor posture. These stretches can be easily done anytime of the day or at night, at home or in the office.
These top stretching exercises are the following:
- Neck retraction. While lying on your back or sitting down, bring your head straight back. While doing so, keep your eyes on the horizon. Next, return to your neutral position. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
- Side bends. While sitting, adopt the neck retraction position. Next, use your right hand to gently guide your right ear toward your right shoulder. Stop when you start feeling a stretch on the left side of your neck. Repeat this exercise 5 times on each side.
- Head drop. While sitting down, retract your neck and then slowly move your head up and backward, as far as you can go, without feeling any pain or discomfort. Then, go back to the neutral position and repeat the head drop 10 times.
- While sitting, assume the neck retraction position. Place your hands behind your head and move it down, bringing the chin towards your chest. Stop when you begin to feel a stretch on your nape. Return to the neutral position and repeat this 5 times.
- Shoulder blade pull.Sit down, bend your raised arms at 90-degree angles while making sure that your shoulders and neck are relaxed the whole time. While keeping your arms and neck still, squeeze the muscles between the shoulder blades, drawing the shoulder blades closer together. Then, return to the neutral position. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
If you’re frequently experiencing neck pain or would like to prevent it, do these stretching exercises at least six to eight times a day. Each recommended number of reps takes only less than 5 minutes to complete and you will start feeling some pain relief in your neck immediately after the session.