Whether you are hurt from lifting weights, or have been sleeping in a funky position for days, neck pain happens. This condition has an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30% among adults in the U.S. It significantly impedes how people go about their daily activities. It’s important if you’re struggling with neck pain to find the best exercises to correct posture.
One proven way of treating your neck is through exercises specifically designed to correct posture and alleviate this pain. These neck pain relief exercises target all the core muscles related to the neck. We offer the best exercises to correct posture for our patients in Columbus. Let’s discuss these exercises in detail and how you can perform correctly.
1. Scapular Squeeze Exercise
This exercise works by strengthening your upper back muscles, which are very important to your neck’s health. It targets the muscles extending behind the shoulders, specifically the rhomboids.
The great thing about the scapular squeeze exercise is that it requires minimal equipment. You start doing this movement by sitting or standing in a straight posture with both hands at the side. Keep your shoulders relaxed, not shrugged. Next, pinch or squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold that position for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat 8-10 times.
Be sure to perform this stretch a few times a day.
2. Wall Angel Exercise
The wall angel exercise is one of the best exercises to correct posture. It’s great for strengthening the trapezius and serratus anterior muscles. These muscles lie in the middle of your back and are responsible for stabilizing your posture.
The goal of this routine is to improve thoracic mobility, shoulder rotation, and upper back activation. Athletes who participate in sports where lunging or overhead squatting are involved could benefit from this exercise.
You perform the wall angel exercise by first standing against a wall with your arms at a 90-degree angle. Be sure to position your arms at shoulder height. Raise your arms above your head while keeping your wrists and elbows as close to the wall as possible. Make sure you are squeezing those shoulder blades hard. Hold this position for about 10 seconds before lowering your arms to the initial position. Repeat this exercise 3-5 times.
3. Pec Stretch
The next exercise is excellent for stretching the pectoral muscles. These muscles are important for your posture and shoulder mobility. Also, a common contributing factor in many neck injuries is pec tightness. That’s why you must keep you pec major and minor well stretched to reduce the chances of a neck strain.
Like the wall angel, the pec stretch could help you attain and maintain the right posture. It also helps to achieve flexible chest muscles, which in turn improves shoulder mobility into external rotation for activities like throwing a ball, overhead squatting, snatching and shoulder pressing.
Stand in a doorway or against the outer corner of a room. Bend your right elbow, which should be at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your upper arm is at shoulder height parallel to the floor. With your left side open to the room, place your right forearm against the corner of the wall. Next, press into your left forearm as you lean your left side into the open area of the room. Be sure to feel a stretch in your right pec. Hold this position for 3 seconds and repeat 10-15 times.
4. Cervical Retraction Exercise
The last posture correction exercise is the cervical retraction. It is ideal for strengthening the longus colli muscle. This muscle is located on the anterior surface of the vertebral column and is responsible for the forward and lateral movement of your neck. This makes this movement great for taking the strain off sternocleidomastoid, which is very important for your neck’s health and getting rid of pain.
From a standing or sitting position, place your fingers on the front of your chin. Push your head backward for as far as it will go without dropping or raising your chin. Be sure to maintain your face in a forward direction. Feel the stretch at the back of your head and neck. Meanwhile, hold at that ‘retracted’ position for 1-2 seconds. Relax and repeat the routine 8-10 times. The key to doing this exercise right is feeling the sense of ‘crowding’ your throat in front. The cervical retraction exercise is also great for treating forward head posture.
Get Help Correcting Your Posture or Neck Pain Relief in Columbus Today
The posture correction and neck pain relief exercises above are helpful because they target specific muscles that are important to your neck. Download our free e-book about easing your neck & shoulder pain to learn more about the best exercises to correct posture. You can also contact us to schedule a free phone consultation today.