Pain in the neck might catch you off-guard. You wake up in the morning. You feel good, but your neck is hurting. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common situation.

Yet, with more and more people working sedentary office jobs all day, it also doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Sitting all day often leads to poor posture. In fact, maybe you’re reading this article right now, hunched forward with your head protruding past your neck. Your parents were onto something when they told you to sit up straight.

Additionally, sleeping in certain positions, such as on your stomach with your neck cranked to the side, can result in strained neck muscles. However, if you’re dealing with a sore neck right now, we’ve got a few tips to help you out. Stretching is a wonderful way to relieve tension in the neck and reduce neck pain. So, let’s take a look at how stretching can help and what stretches you should do.

Does Stretching Help Neck Pain?

Stretching helps elongate the muscles in and around the neck. This can help increase flexibility, range of motion, and relieve stiffness. If you’re prone to neck stiffness and pain, it might even help to perform neck stretches daily. This can help prevent pain and keep your neck strong and flexible, as well as improve the function of your cervical (neck) joints.

3 Neck Stretches You Can Do Right Now

So, what stretches should you try? Check out the three neck stretches below.

1. Levator Scapulae Stretch

The levator scapulae muscle runs down the side of the neck and is primarily responsible for elevating the scapula, also known as the shoulder blade. Yet, when this muscle becomes aggravated or tight, you can experience varying degrees of neck pain and limited neck movement.

To stretch this muscle, sit in a chair with your right hand under your buttocks. Gently use your left hand to guide your head down toward your left armpit. Only go to the point before pain, and pause when you feel a gentle stretch along the back of the right side of your neck. Hold here for 20-30 seconds. After completing this stretch on one side, ensure you repeat it on your other side.

2. Upper Trapezius Stretch

The trapezius muscle extends from the neck and down over the shoulder blades. The upper portion of this muscle helps extend the neck. Thus, when it becomes tight, you might experience neck pain and restricted movement.

For the upper trapezius stretch, you start in a similar position to the levator scapulae stretch. Sit with your right hand under your buttocks. Keeping your gaze forward, gently use your left hand to guide your left ear toward your left shoulder. Do not shrug the shoulders. You should feel a gentle stretch along the right side of your neck. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on your opposite side.

3. Neck Flexion and Extension

This is more of a dynamic stretch, which means it involves a bit of movement as opposed to static holds. Begin with your gaze forward. Slowly bring your head up and back as far as you comfortably can. Pause, then slowly bring your chin toward your chest as far as you comfortably can. Repeat this for 10-12 repetitions each way. Ensure you only go before pain occurs.

This movement can help increase blood flow to your neck and the affected area, helping to bring all the cells and nutrients needed for you to heal.

How a Parker Chiropractor Can Help

Need a little more help? At Awaken Chiropractic, we understand how frustrating neck pain can be. However, we consider ourselves experts when it comes to the spine, back, and neck. If you’re experiencing neck pain that just won’t quit, you might benefit from a chiropractic neck adjustment. Book your appointment with us today, and let’s get you back on track, without pain getting in your way.

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