Most of us, at some point in our lives, have dealt with neck pain. Some may struggle with it daily and others may just be having it for the first time. If you checked either of those boxes then here are four exercises to start doing every day to help you find chronic neck pain relief.
1. Cervical Retractions
This exercise starts on your back and it may take a few tries to get down just right; that is okay! You are going to pretend like you just smelled something bad, or a dog is trying to lick your face, and move your head backwards. The table is there to make sure you do not just rotate your head upwards. If you do this well, you may get somewhat of a double chin – DO NOT PANIC – it will not stay! Starting with three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions should give you the chronic neck pain relief you’ve been looking for.
2. W Squeeze
This next exercise to help with chronic neck pain relief is the W Squeeze, or goal post exercise. Making sure your arms are 90 degrees out to your side and then your elbows are bent to 90 degrees is the starting position. Squeezing your shoulder blades together and holding for about three seconds is the next step in this exercise. Repeating that same process for three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions will definitely work some of the muscles that help support your neck throughout the day. Be sure that this is not making you more sore!
3. Low Trap Raises
Begin this exercise on your stomach. If you, by chance, have a table with a face hole in it, great! If not, try using an airplane pillow towel roll under your forehead to make sure you can breathe! The low trap helps take some of the workload off the bigger neck muscles as we go about our day. So it is never a bad idea to strengthen these! Start by squeezing you shoulder blades together and drawing them down (kind of like you are trying to put them in your pockets). After you get that down add in lifting your hands as well and hold this position for about ten seconds. Repeat this exercise five times with a ten second hold to help ease some of the tension that may be making your neck pain worse! It is okay if your arms shake; this is a hard exercise. But, do not let this make things more painful.
4. Scapular Push Ups on the Wall
Last daily exercise for chronic neck we have is that scapula push-up on the wall. Starting with your hands against the wall and your elbows locked, you are going to let your shoulder blades come together or touch. Now reversing that is the next step. Some people find this challenging, so thinking about pushing your shoulder blades around the rib cage or pushing your spine up in between your shoulder blades are some good cues to start. ELBOW STAY LOCKED. Try completing three sets of ten to fifteen repetitions.
Are You Looking For Chronic Neck Pain Relief?
These exercises are not a quick fix or a cure all! There may be other issues occurring and need medical advice or interventions. Seeking care from a health professional (Physical Therapist) should be your next step if any pain increase is noted with any of these exercises. Most cases of neck pain are treated with a combination of dry needling, manual therapy and corrective exercises within our clinic. If you are located in or near Columbus, Ohio and have any questions or concerns please reach out!