Neck Pain Or Stiff Neck is a very common problem but the cause of it can be different for different people. A stiff neck can be a result of minor injury, poor posture, extra pressure, or overexertion of the neck muscles. Typically the pain improves within a few weeks if neck strengthening exercises are practiced regularly. If neck pain is ignored frequently it can be chronic. Exercises can help reduce pain, increase mobility, and strengthen the neck and postural musculature.
- 1 Do Exercises Help?
- 2 Types Of Neck Pain –
- 3 Exercises For Stiff Neck –
- 4 When To Perform These Stiff Neck Exercises –
Do Exercises Help?
Exercises can be helpful but not in all cases it depends on the cause of origin. If the pain is caused due to any injury it is advisable to consult a doctor first before starting any exercises. Neck Pain can cause hindrance in day-to-day activities and if the pain is ignored for long it can affect the shoulders and arms too.
We can relieve neck pain by resting and doing gentle exercises. Sometimes, medications are necessary to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.
Severe neck pain may require additional forms of treatment. Doctors may suggest visiting a physical therapist for an exercise program.
Usually exercises help complete relieve the stiff neck as it aims to cure the pain by ensuring:
- Increase Muscle Flexibility
- Reduced Neural Tension
- Increase In Join Mobility
- Better Posture Stability
Types Of Neck Pain –
Neck Pain With Mobility Deficits: –
A person, in this case, experiences a strain in the neck muscles because of sleeping in the wrong position or lifting heavyweights.
Neck Pain Due To Wrong Posture –
This pain occurs after a person has been sitting at a desk in the wrong position for long hours and immobility.
Neck Pain With Headache-
This pain includes neck pain with headaches extending towards the back of the head.
Neck Pain With Spreading Pain-
This includes neck pain due to the slipped cervical nerve compression, or spondylitis condition.
Exercises For Stiff Neck –
Tilt Neck Exercise –
In this exercise, the patient or the person suffering from the pain from a stiff neck is said to loosen his/her neck muscles and move to & fro and sideways to relax the muscles, This exercise particularly helps in the relief of the cervical pain.
Backward Bending –
In this exercise, the person needs to extend the muscles of the neck by keeping the head up straight & looking upwards and also making sure at the same time that the shoulders and back are static. Once ensured the patient needs to lean the head backward and should try to go as far as possible and try to stretch the muscles for 5 seconds at least without the feeling of pain and return to the starting position after 5 seconds.
At the time of performing any neck strengthening exercise, the stretch is felt in the muscles along the throat and also the muscles working at the base of the skull down through the spinal cord at the back.
Forward Bending –
In this exercise, the person slowly lowers the chin towards the chest while only moving the head after the flex is felt. It is then required to hold the stretch as long as it can be comfortably done without pain and then return to the starting upright position. If this exercise is done correctly the flex is felt till the bottom of the back also helps in relieving back pain.
Bending Sideways – Lateral Neck Extension
In this exercise it is very important to keep the shoulder and back straight while performing it, otherwise, it can lead to complications. In this exercise, the person is required to gradually bend the head down at one side like trying to touch their chest area with the chin once the stretch is felt after bending then move the head sideways and try to hold the position for 55 seconds at least then return to starting position and repeat the same exercise another side.
While performing this exercise the extension is felt on the opposite sides, that is if you are bending towards the right side you will feel the stretch on the left side.
This exercise can be said to be a combination of all the three exercises backward bend, forward bend, and sideways bending. In this exercise, the person is required to slowly turn the neck left side while keeping the shoulder and back straight and then turn to the right. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds then bend downwards and upwards and hold the stretch for 5 seconds as well. Of all the neck exercises rotation is one of the most difficult and crucial exercises, It is advisable to perform this exercise and stretches without enduring too much pain.
When To Perform These Stiff Neck Exercises –
Generally, exercises are best done in the morning time but these neck exercises can be performed any time, one just needs to ensure that there is not too much pain while performing these exercises. And it is always advisable to give some amount of rest to the muscles before starting any exercises. It is important to remember that the purpose of these exercises is to relieve neck pain and increase neck flexibility and not pain so rest is important. One can increase the number of sets performed gradually with time.
Lastly, these exercises are only to help fight pain and flexibility issues around the neck and shoulder area. If neck pain is accompanied by headache, vomiting, or dizziness it is advisable to seek medical attention rather than blindly following these exercises.