Neck pain is so common that an estimated ten percent of North American adults are suffering from it at any given time. Chances are good that you will experience at least one episode of mild to severe neck pain in your lifetime. Doing neck pain relief exercises regularly can significantly minimize the number, intensity and durations of those episodes.
Aside from injury or trauma, people experience neck pain for two major reasons. One reason is poor sleep habits: too old, soft or hard a mattress, too much stomach-sleeping or a pillow that doesn't properly support the head and spine.
The second major cause is sitting for extended periods of time on a regular basis. People who spend most of their workdays at a desk or computer are at particular risk for neck pain position for 20-30 seconds. Then, do the same thing on the other side. Repeat this two or three times.
You can add an extra element of stretch to this exercise if you wish. While turning your head to the right, leave your left hand in your lap. With your right hand, press against your left shoulder gentl tight (even when you're relaxing). Muscles that are constantly tight lend themselves to even more pain, and so begins a vicious cycle that may eventually require treatment.
Instead, it's best not to ignore those episodes of stiffness and soreness. Practicing some simple neck pain relief exercises will help prevent long-term problems. These four exercises take only a few minutes, and they can be done anywhere: at a desk, sitting in your car at a stop light or while you're watching television:
1) Head rotation: Sit up straight. Place your hands flat on your lap. Turn your head to the right as far as you can, but don't move the rest of your body. Hold that position for 20-30 seconds. Then, do the same thing on the other side. Repeat this two or three times.
You can add an extra element of stretch to this exercise if you wish. While turning your head to the right, leave your left hand in your lap. With your right hand, press against your left shoulder gently. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Do the same on the other side with your opposite hand.
2) Reach-for-the-Sky: Sit up straight. Raise both arms straight up over your head and hold them there for about 10 seconds.
Next, drop your left arm just slightly lower than your right and hold for 10 seconds. Then, raise the left arm again and drop the right one slightly and hold again for 10 seconds.
3) Neck rolls: Sit up straight. Slowly bring your right ear down to your right shoulder (or as close as you can without straining). Hold for five to ten seconds. Slowly roll your head forward and rest your chin on your chest for five to ten seconds.
Next, slowly roll your head to the left. Bring your left ear to your left shoulder. Hold for five to ten seconds. Roll your head back to the center and rest there for five to ten seconds. Pull your head upright again.
4) Chin-to-chest: Sit up straight. Drop your head forward and touch your chin to your chest. If you can't get it all the way to your chest, simply drop your head as far forward as you can without hunching or rounding your shoulders. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. This is an excellent exercise to do once in between each of the other exercises already described.
These neck pain relief exercises are simple and quick. If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, strive to pause every 60 minutes and do one or more of these moves.Doing this regularly will go a long way toward preventing neck strain.