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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).
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