Are you experiencing a stiff or sore neck? This is a common health ailment all across America, especially for those who work on a computer or spend a lot of time on mobile devices. One solution is to search out a neck pain chiropractor, such as a NUCCA practitioner. While the adjustment is going to help get your neck properly aligned, keeping it that way will require some work on your part.
Most neck problems relate to poor posture throughout the day. So creating the right work environment is crucial, especially if you are working from a home office. On the other hand, stretching daily can strengthen the neck muscles and help to relieve some of the stress of sitting at a desk and looking at monitors all day long. So here are some of the top stretches for neck pain relief.
#1 Neck Pulls
Neck pulls allow you to use your hands to assist your neck in the stretch. Place your hands behind your head with your fingers interlocked and your elbows out directly to either side. If you have a ponytail, it may help to put your hands below it. Stand up straight with your hips forward and shoulders back and down. Take a deep breath and use your exhale to get into the stretch.
The stretch is dipping your chin toward your neck and using your hands to add a gentle pull. You are mostly just using the weight of your hands. Go until you feel a stretch, but there should not be any pain. Breath in and out several times, trying to get a little deeper into the stretch on each exhale.
#2 Head Nod
You can go directly into his stretch by just removing your hands with your chin still as far as you can go toward your chest. Now lean your head back as far as you can so that you are looking back up at the ceiling. Remember to maintain proper form. Don’t let your shoulders or hips slump. Use your breathing to know when to switch (always on the exhale). Repeat the stretch about ten times.
#3 Bent Over Head Nod
Now bend as far as you can at the waist. If you can touch the floor, that is great, but don’t strain your legs. Remember, we are focusing on the neck right now. Hold your elbows so that your arms don’t get in the way of the stretch and let your head hang straight down. Now, repeat your head nod stretch while hanging in this position. Get your chin as close to the chest as you can and then tilt your head back and away from your chest.
#4 Ear Drops
Now return to a straight standing position with your shoulders back and relaxed and your hips back. Interlace your fingers behind your back. Keeping your hands at your lower back level will help pull the shoulders down, so you maintain proper form. Now tilt your head to the right, dropping your ear toward your shoulder. Hold it for a few breaths. Return upright and then repeat the exercise on the left side.
Alternatively, you could do assisted ear drops. Instead of having your arms behind your back, use your hands to help increase your stretch. When you tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder, rest your right hand on top of your head. Don’t pull too much – you are mostly using the weight of the hand to assist. Never stretch to the point where your neck begins to pop. Leave the adjustments to your neck pain chiropractor.
#5 Neck Circles
Stand straight and tall with your hips and shoulders back. Tilt your neck toward your chest. Now, rotate your head clockwise, like you are drawing a circle with your chin. Do one complete rotation and stop with your chin pointing toward your chest again. Now, rotate the opposite way and complete a full rotation in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat the stretch until you have completed three rotations in each direction.
Additional Places to Search for Neck Stretches
There are many great neck stretches available from different exercise apps. In fact, most of these apps will have at least a few free stretching programs directed by a trainer or by a prerecorded instructor. Make sure to use a reputable app like FitOn or Nike Training Club. You want to be sure that the suggested stretches are safe for your neck. Before starting any new exercise program, always consult a physician.
Finding a Neck Pain Chiropractor to Meet Your Needs
A chiropractor can also help you to learn the right stretches to support your neck health. This will ensure that your adjustments last as long as possible. The longer your corrections hold, the less you will spend on care, so it is a win-win for you to keep up with the stretching between your appointments. You also need to be sure that you are seeing the right chiropractor to meet your specific health needs.
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) can help you find the best neck pain chiropractor in your area. All of the doctors that you will discover in our directory are board-certified to practice NUCCA. Making sure that the upper cervical spine is in proper alignment is a must when you are living with chronic neck pain. Follow this link to use the search feature on our site and locate the nearest practitioner to you by entering your zip code.