We've all heard the term "pain the neck." It's figurative and used when we are talking about someone or something that is annoying or difficult to deal with.
Sometimes however, we are talking about a literal pain in the neck. Your neck pain can be serious and debilitating- especially if it is the result of an accident or injury. This type of neck pain often requires the assessment and care of medical professional.
Other times our pain in the neck is nothing more than a simple strain. The strain, headache and muscle spasms can often be alleviated by OTC medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Massage and a hot bath or shower can also help a stiff or aching neck. Web MD notes that neck pain is fairly common and stretching can help alleviate the annoying symptoms of strain.
3 simple neck stretches
- Seated neck release: Sit camp style/ cross legged on the floor. Place your palms on the floor next to your thighs. As you tilt your head to the right, press your left palm into the floor.
- Bridge pose: Lie on your back. Bend your knees and bring your feet up so that the tips of your fingers brush against your heels. Raise your hips while keeping your shoulders on the floor. Some people are able to clasp their hands together on the floor under their raised pelvis. Move your shoulder blades as close together as you can while they are still on the floor and hold for 10-30 seconds.
- Neck tilt: Sit camp style/ cross legged on the floor. Take a deep breath in and as you release it consciously relax your shoulders. Now breathe in and as you breathe out tilt your head forward slowly moving your chin to your chest. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Breathe in again and raise your head to neutral. Take a deep breath in and let your head slowly tilt backwards. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Breathe in and bring your head to neutral. Slowly turn your head right, then center, then left. Hold each position for 15-30 seconds. Only move your head as far forward and backward as feels comfortable to you.
For a video of neck stretches from the Mayo Clinic, click here. As with any stretching, if you have been injured in a car accident, work accident or other traumatic event, check with your doctor to see what's best for your condition.