Your head weighs about 12 pounds.
This may not sound like a lot, but how about you pick up a 12-pound bowling ball and try to balance it on the top of a broomstick. That’s not a perfect example of how your spine works in relation to supporting your head, but it does help to show how much stress your spine is under every day to support your skull.
If you’re experiencing neck pain, you may be wondering if it’s time to see a chiropractor. In most cases, however, neck pain resolves itself within a few days or weeks, and there are things you can do to help relieve your neck pain.
Exercise and stretching can be an effective way to deal with the pain associated with your neck. When you begin an exercise routine, you can improve stability and mobility, reduce pain and minimize the chances of a recurrent episode of pain in that area. T
Here are three distinct types of exercises:
- Low-impact aerobics are useful for large muscle groups and provide steady exercises.
- Strengthening exercises use repeated movements to strengthen muscles.
- Stretching exercises are steady, repeated movements that help to lengthen the muscle.
While exercising, ensure that you continue to breathe normally. Perform each exercise slowly and stop if it begins to hurt. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise routine.
Sit down in a chair, feet lined up with your hips. Put your hands on your thighs. Inhale as you contract the muscles in your abdomen. As you stand up, exhale slowly. Sit down and repeat 10 times.
In a sitting position, rest your hands on your legs with your feet on the floor. As you exhale, keep one leg straight out and raise it as high as possible. Lower your leg back to the original position and repeat 10 times. Perform the exercise again with the other leg.
While standing behind a chair, place your hands on the back of the chair and widen your stance so your feet are in line with your hips. Contract the muscles in your abdomen. Lift your heels so your weight is on the balls of your feet. Lower your weight back down until your feet are flat on the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Upper Trapezius Stretch
Sitting in a straight-backed chair, hold onto the bottom of the chair with one hand. Turn your heat, moving your ear towards your shoulder until you can feel the muscles in your neck stretch. Hold your position for up to 20 seconds. Repeat on each side.
Stand in a doorway, with your spine against one side and your feet about 3 inches from the doorframe. Tilt your head back until your head is touching the doorway. Keep your chin down to ensure that your head is being pulled straight back. Hold that position for up to 5 seconds. Repeat up to 10 times.
This exercise is effective in strengthening the upper back and neck. Roll up a hand towel and place on the floor. Lie face down, resting your forehead on the rolled towel. Put your arms down at your sides, with palms against the floor. Move your tongue to the roof of your mouth to increase stability in the front of your neck. Squeeze your shoulder blades and lift your hands up. Roll your elbows in and gently lift your forehead off the floor. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds then repeat.
Front Plank with a Table
Stand to the side of a table, with your feet together. Constrict the muscles in your abdomen and lower your weight onto your arms. Clench hands and make sure your shoulders are aligned with your spine. Roll your weight back onto the balls of your feet until you balance your body into a straight line. Repeat up to 10 times.
Exercises can help you deal with the pain that you may be experiencing in your neck or upper back. In most cases, it is nothing to worry about, and you may find that the pain goes away on its own. For persistent back pain or pain that appears to be staying the same but isn’t going away, some of these exercises can help you regain flexibility and mobility you may have had, however, when in doubt, please see a doctor.
If you’ve experienced pain in your neck or upper back when doing something as simple as picking up a box off the floor or moving your carry-on into the overhead compartment on an airplane, these stretches may be able to help you.
These exercises are designed to help you improve muscle mobility and try to balance the pain you may be feeling in both your neck or back. Try the exercises to increase your body flexibility and improve muscle strength.
Are you struggling with neck pain despite trying some stretches? If your pain hasn’t gone away after about a week, it may be time to seek medical help. Our comprehensive treatment programs can help you recover from neck pain. Call today!