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Seriously. If you’ve got neck pain like I’ve got neck pain, then you’re not functioning on all cylinders 24/7 like you should be.
Take it from me, the following neck stretches REALLY work!
Try the following simple moves that increase “neck flex” and “neck strength” the next time you’ve got a pain in the neck!
Just What The Doctor Ordered
I used to do them on occasion (when he’d remind me to), but since they came on a single printed sheet with pictures and looked more like exercises… I resisted. I’ve never been too fond of exercising.
That is, until yesterday!
As a last-ditch effort to self-treat my neck pain, I decided I had nothing to lose (except the nagging ache in the back of my neck!), so I decided to try those neck stretches that Doc has always recommended.
Simple Neck Stretches That Really WORK!
At this point, I was going on 3 full weeks of “pinched nerve” kind of neck pain.
It was so bad, I couldn’t turn my neck a certain way for several days. Then at times it would be more like a sharp, lingering ache.
It actually started as a classic case of fatigue from hours weeks of bad posture in front of the computer — over 2 weeks ago. Then, Jim was kind enough to give me a neck massage 1 week ago. But for some reason, that actually aggravated the problem.
Out of desperation (and bull-headedness about not being one of those who has to go to the chiropractor for every little thing), I dug out that sheet of neck stretches that Doc had given me, and I did them while we were watching rental movies last night.
This morning, I’m 95% better! (And that’s after nearly 3 weeks of pain.) It seems almost miraculous.
Here are a bunch of free online videos showing you how to properly stretch your neck muscles — you can even do these at work.
What NOT To Do
For the record, the last time I described to my chiropractor the type of neck pain that I get all the time, and how I usually deal with it, he warned me that my method was all wrong.
How I was doing it:
I would typically roll my head & neck in every direction — like big “round the world” neck circles. It feels mildly good, and stretches every muscle in your neck at once.
But he said (without hesitation)… “DON’T DO THAT!”
He said you should never stretch all those muscles simultaneously like that — especially if you have any arthritis at all in your neck (…which I happen to have).
Instead, he said to stretch only one “plane” at a time. Which is exactly what the stretches on the above handout illustrate.
Do Something Good For Your Neck
The moves illustrated on the sheet above work to improve your “neck flex” and “neck strength”. They are the absolute best way to relieve neck tension without doing further damage to the affected areas.
The best part?… These neck stretches are SOOOooooo simple!
You can do them when you’re sitting down, standing up, lying down — at work or at home — virtually anywhere. All you need is the palm of your hand to act as resistance.
It’s also easy to combine these neck stretches with some simple yoga-type stretches. Even if your moves aren’t “by the book,” by simply stretching different muscles (one “plane” at a time), you can give your body a homemade tune-up.
Take it from someone who has a lot of neck pain and tension in my neck muscles… to the extent that I’ve started getting frequent headaches: These very simple stretches work wonders!
Gadgets That Help With Neck Pain Relief
Years later, after I stopped visiting the chiropractor regularly (because we moved and I haven’t found another one that I like enough to stick with), I started to hear good things about some at-home equipment that can help relieve back & neck pain.
So I did a lot of research, then I added these to my wishlist:
- Inversion Table – More and more of my friends are buying these lately. And each of them is SO glad they did. Some have had theirs for years now. They like how it helps with everything from a herniated disc to sciatica, as well as the amazing feeling you get when you stretch the spine while taking pressure off your neck and shoulders. Personally, one of my biggest fears would be that the excitement of using it would quickly fade — like it usually does with most home-gym equipment. But they say, no. They say that they use theirs at least once a week (usually more) — because the results are only temporary, but worth it.
- Inflatable Cervical Neck Traction Pillow – I’ll be honest, initially, I thought that most neck traction gadgets were sort of a farce. I mean, they look absolutely ridiculous! I could never imagine actually purchasing and using one myself. Until now… I bought this neck traction pillow and I’m here to tell you, it really does help. It inflates to stretch your neck muscles at whatever level you’re comfortable with. You just stop inflating whenever you feel enough of a stretch that feels good to you. This type of relief is something I’ve never felt before. It’s as if the weight and pressure of having your head & neck sitting on top of your shoulders is completely alleviated. If you keep all of your tension in your neck and shoulders like I do, then you’ll understand. And the best part: you can do it in the privacy of your own home, so you don’t have to feel like a goof-ball. I use it every couple of weeks — whenever my neck and shoulders seem unusually tight.
More About Neck Pain Treatment
- The Best Things My Chiropractor Ever Taught Me
- Does Neck Pain Signify Something Serious?
- Why I Highly Recommend A Chiropractor
- Neck Pain Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
- Videos: Best Neck Stretches For Neck Pain
- How To Make Your Computer Space More Ergonomic
Professionally, I pursued my Masters Degree in Family Therapy at Texas Tech — where I obtained invaluable expertise and experience helping people with a wide variety of physical and emotional health issues. Personally, I think it's useful when people realize that they're not the only one going through a difficult time. So any time that I think my personal health experiences would be helpful to someone else going through the same thing, I will share my story here. With health issues that I've personally experienced (like Endometriosis, Lyme Disease, Hysterectomy, Skin Cancer, Ganglion Cysts, Autism, and other topics that very few people enjoy talking about) and health products that I've found beneficial (like sleep aids, essential oils, and medications)… I do my best to provide my own raw and honest firsthand experiences that I think others would appreciate hearing about and (hopefully) find helpful. I'm grateful that I have a number of friends who have also been willing to share their very personal stories here — regarding their own physical and emotional health. When I'm not writing about health topics, you will find me sharing Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).