Neck pain is a pretty common problem, and one your chiropractor sees all of the time! Some studies have found that as many as 30% of people experience neck pain, and that it impacts women more often than men. So, how can you keep your neck healthy, strong and pain free? Aside from visiting your chiropractor regularly, here are a few exercises you can do to try and keep neck pain at bay.
Your neck moves in three ways: forward, backward and side to side. Motion exercises are something you can do at any place and time. Work on a routine that exercises your neck in every way that it moves.
For the first exercise, you can either sit or stand with your head in a neutral position. Look up towards to ceiling or sky and then down at the ground in a gentle, slow way. Repeat five times in each direction.
The second exercise is a side to side exercise. Start in the same position as the first exercise but move your head to the side trying to touch your shoulder with your ear without raising your shoulder.
The third motion exercise rotates the neck. Stand or sit and rotate your neck from one side to the other, attempting to rotate your chin to be in line with your shoulder. Repeat this five times in each direction.
This type of exercise allows your muscles to be strengthened without moving your neck! These can be especially helpful if you are having pain in your neck and you can do these exercises sitting or standing, too.
For the first exercise put both hands behind your neck as you lace your fingers together behind your head. Now, do these two things at the same time: pull forward with your hands and extend your neck backward while keeping your head in a neutral position. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax. You want to feel the muscles in the back of your neck contracting with this exercise without actually moving your neck.
The second exercise requires you to put one palm on your forehead while you place the other hand over the first one, lacing your fingers together. Now, hold your head in a neutral position as you push back with your hands. Hold this one for 10 seconds too.
If you have any questions about exercises you can do to strengthen your neck, talk to your chiropractor!
Scarlett is currently a physiotherapy student at the University of Western Australia. She has a keen interest in physiotherapy as both her parents are physiotherapists with their own practice. Scarlett has also been a long time sufferer of scoliosis which has further motivated her studies in the field.