Think about all that we do during the day – let’s face it, we are a very active group of people. From the moment we wake up, we are on the move – from sitting at your desk all day (either writing or using the computer), to playing with your friends and/or engaging in sports and exercise routines, to face-timing and talking on the phone. All of these activities can cause the muscles in your neck to become strained and stiff, which can lead to pain, tension, and headaches.
“Neck muscles help support the cervical spine and contribute to movements of the head, neck, upper back, and shoulders”
Neck circles and stretches are frequently used as a warm up exercise to relax the neck muscles and minimize any strain that can be caused while engaging in sports and exercise. Neck stretches are also a wonderful way to de-stress at the end of a long day and should be incorporated into your warm-up activities.
Some other benefits of neck stretches are:
- Strengthens the neck muscles
- Improve flexibility
- Increase range of motion in the neck.
- Decrease neck stiffness
- Decrease neck pain and inflammation
- Prevent neck pain from working on the computer
- Prevent neck pain from texting all day
- Prevent neck pain from using your phone all day
- Improves overall posture
Stretching your neck includes:
- Flexion – bring your head and neck down in a forward motion (chin-to-chest).
- Extension – bring your head and neck in a backward motion (look up at the ceiling).
- Lateral Flexion or Side Bending– bring your right ear to your right shoulder and your left ear to your left shoulder.
- Lateral Rotation – look to your left and then look to your right.
✨ HOW TO STRETCH YOUR NECK:
❣️ Relax your body and take a few deep breaths.
❣️ Gently and slowly perform your neck stretch.
❣️ Hold each position for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
❣️ Repeat – 3x (each position).
*** WARNING: you should NOT feel pain. If you are feeling pain, STOP and tell your parent or another adult. DO NOT go beyond the normal range of motion ***
⭐️ Try to do these stretches daily and remember to BREATHE when you are stretching. Breathing in-and-out slowly will help you to relax your neck muscles through your normal range of motion ⭐️
Candice A. Lawrence
Resources: spine-health.com; rosquistchiropractic.com; arc4life.com; Wikihow.fitness