Stretches for Alleviating Neck and Upper Back Pain
With the ongoing pandemic, switch to remote work and school, and increasing time spent looking at our phones or computers, many of us may be experiencing stiffness and pain in our necks and upper backs.
According to Spine-Health, this neck pain can result in headaches, sharp pains, general soreness, and radiating pain.
It can even interfere with activities that involve turning your neck, such as sleeping, playing sports, getting dressed, working, or driving.
The following are some stretches you can work into your daily routine to help alleviate any stiffness or pain:
Stretches you can do any time
- Side bend: Tilt your head slowly to either side, as if you were going to touch your ear to your shoulder.
- Wingspan: Put one arm behind your back and reach up. Put your other hand reaching toward your back over your shoulder. You should be able to stretch and touch your hands to one another behind your back. Alternate the motion with your arms.
- Neck rotation: Turn your head slowly to the right so your chin is over your shoulder and hold, then turn your head slowly to the left so your chin is over your shoulder and hold.
- Shoulder shrug: Slowly shrug your shoulders and gently roll them backward and then bring them down again.
- Back and forward bend: Slowly tilt your head all the way forward, with your chin toward your chest. Then, tilt your head all the way backward so you are looking at the ceiling.
- Corner stretch: Put your arms against a door or corner up on either side of you, then push your shoulder blades together and lean forward.
- Chin retraction: With your back and neck aligned to a chair or wall, slowly move your chin backward.
- Thoracic rotation: Put your hands behind your neck and turn your upper body sideways in either direction.
- Darts prone: When lying down with your face to the ground and your arms down at your sides, lift your arms up and backward.
- Side reaches: Lift your left arm over your head and stretch it to the right. Lift your right arm over your head and stretch it to the left.
Of course, if you are experiencing any sudden pain, you should stop your stretching to prevent aggravating your muscles and stretch slowly and gently to prevent straining yourself. If you are experiencing chronic pain from old sports injuries, these exercises may temporarily alleviate pain, but it is recommended that you check in with your physical therapist here at AIM for long-term healing and recovery.
Remember to take some time adjusting your posture and position throughout the day to prevent your body from locking up. Sometimes getting up for a quick stretch and walk to loosen your muscles is the best thing you can do for your body to keep you pain-free through the day.
If you are still experiencing any stiffness, pain, or soreness, call us at AIM to schedule a consultation that will get you pain-free and back to your daily routine.
Our goal at Aim Sports Medicine is to reduce pain and inflammation and prevent further injuries. Take the time to heal old injuries and chronic pain that you have been putting up with. You deserve to feel great in your body!
Aim Sports Medicine, the top sports medicine practice in the South Bay, includes specialists in Physical Therapy, Stretch Therapy, Soft Tissue Management, Deep Tissue Massage, Fascial Stretch Therapy, Acupuncture, Deep Tissue Laser Therapy, and a proprietary Exoarmer Manual Therapy.
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