Do you spend a lot of time staring at your phone or a computer screen? Maybe you’re in the car for long stretches each day, or perhaps you slept in an awkward position.
All of these things can cause neck pain and neck fatigue. Luckily, there are simple exercises you can do to strengthen your neck.
Neck pain affects more than 30% of American adults each year. We can help at Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas to treat chronic or acute neck pain. However, there are things you can do before your neck becomes painful.
Strengthen neck muscles with simple exercises
The muscles in your neck work hard every day, and the stress can lead to stiffness, pain, and immobility. Sometimes the pain isn’t confined to the neck but spreads to the shoulders or arms. Neck pain also causes headaches.
Your body isn’t made to remain in one position all day long, so sitting at a desk, standing in place, or even performing physical work like construction or nursing, can put a heavy strain on your neck.
Simple exercises for the neck can be carried out anywhere, even while sitting at your desk. Try to do the following for the neck every day, if possible, to build up your neck muscles.
This movement immediately relaxes and loosens neck muscles.
Sit on the edge of a seat. Extend both arms to your sides, then place your fingertips on your shoulders. Now bring your elbows together in front of your chest and then open them again. Be careful not to pull your shoulders up.
Take deep breaths in and out as you do this exercise. Repeat this workout 10 times.
Circle your head
Assume the same starting position as in the butterfly and lower your shoulders until you reach a relaxed position. Keep your head straight and then slowly circle, first five times to the right and then five times to the left.
Circle your arms
Extend your arms horizontally with your palms facing up. Now, starting from the shoulder joint, slowly circle 10 times forward and 10 times slowly backward. Make sure that you keep your arms straight at all times and that you don't pull your shoulders up.
Bend and straighten your neck
Sit up straight. Look straight ahead and slowly lower your chin onto your chest. Remain in this position for a few seconds and then slowly raise your head again and tilt it back as far as possible until you’re looking at the ceiling. Hold this position for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Side to side
Cross your hands behind your neck and sit up straight. Bend to the right as far as you can. Hold this position, which also strengthens the lateral abdominal muscles, for about 10 seconds and then straighten up again. Do the same thing on the left. Repeat 10 times.
You can do all of these exercises while standing. Stand in a relaxed position with your legs slightly open.
If your job requires you to sit all day, make sure that in addition to neck exercises, you also adopt good posture at your desk. You should sit upright, and your desk should be at the right height. If possible, get up for a few minutes every hour to take a short walk.
If you’re experiencing acute or chronic neck pain, contact any of the four Neuropathy and Pain Centers of Texas office nearest you.