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6 Head and Neck Exercises to Get Rid of Stiff Neck

 

Neck is one of the important parts of our body. This gives you the reason to take care of it well.

The neck serves as the support for the brain and the spinal cord; this is why it regularly undergoes stress and tension, further leading to pain. If you are one of the unfortunate ones who often experience pain in the head and neck every now and then, here are some exercises that you can try at home.

Generally, the neck can do six ranges of motion. These are neck extension, neck flexion, left lateral flexion, right lateral flexion, left rotation and right rotation. These ranges of motion serve as the basis for most head and neck exercises. These exercises allow the neck and the head to increase tone and strength so that they can become more flexible and can withstand stress.

The exercises described below do not need special equipment; nor can they disrupt your normal daily activities. You can do them while working in the office or at home and they only need 5 to 15 minutes.

Exercise 1: Side-to-Side

  1. Face your head forward.
  2. Then, turn your head gently to the right.
  3. Stop and turn your head forward when you have already reached your limit.
  4. Now, you turn your head to the left as much as you can, and then returning to face forward.
  5. Repeat the steps above for 5 times.

Exercise 2: Up-and-Down

  1. Face with your head forward.
  2. Open your mouth slightly so that your jaw will drop. Do this while in a relaxed posture.
  3. While you move in a vertical plane, drop your head gently to make your chin rest on your chest. See to it that your chin should reach your chest; if not, don’t force it.
  4. Then gently raise your head so that you are facing forwards again.
  5. Now, moving only in a vertical plane gently put your head back as far as it will go without forcing or straining.
  6. Bring your head back to face forward.
  7. Repeat the steps above for 5 times.

Exercise 3: Ear-to-Shoulder

  1. Face with your head forward.
  2. Gently tilt your head with your right ear moving toward your right shoulder. As you do this, keep looking forwards and avoid twisting your head to the side.
  3. Try to reach your limit. When you have done so, turn your head to face forward again.
  4. Repeat in tilting your left ear towards the direction of your left shoulder and return to facing forward. Do not go beyond your limits.
  5. Repeat the steps above for 5 times.

Exercise 4: Shoulders Up-and-Down

  1. Face with your head forward.
  2. Raise both shoulders gently towards the direction of your ears.
  3. Push both of your shoulders downwards.
  4. Push back into the resting and centred position.
  5. Relax your shoulders so that they can spring back upwards in a slight way.
  6. Repeat the steps for 5 times.

Exercise 5: Rotating One Shoulder at a Time

  1. Face with your head forward.
  2. Rotate your right shoulder gently forward while making small, circular movements. Do this 5 times.
  3. Now, reverse the movement so that you rotate the right shoulder backwards in small circles. Do this 5 times.
  4. Now repeat the forwards and backwards circular movements with the left shoulder, carrying out each rotation 5 times.
  5. Take care so as when you lift one shoulder, you should not slump over to the other side. Remain in a relaxed and centred posture.

Exercise 6: Rotating Both Shoulders Together

This exercise is like rotating one shoulder at a time. You have to rotate both the shoulders together.

Do 5 forward rotations first and then 5 backward rotations.

For some people, crossing the forearms across their lap makes it comfortable. Instead, allow your hands to rest softly on your lap or let both arms to hand loosely at your sides.

 

-Medical Observer

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