After a night of bad sleep or a day spent leaning over a computer, the stiffness or soreness in your neck is likely an all too familiar annoyance.
A few potential causes for the tightness and stiffness often manifest themselves in the region above the shoulders. One major offender is slouching. Because of this, your head, shoulders, and middle back will pull forward, activating the muscles in that region to realign your torso. The effect is a feeling of tightness and stiffness.
If you often have neck pain, you may be breathing too shallowly. (Ahem—try nose breathing.) People, particularly under stress, tend to be shallow breathers, or chest breathers, in which they breathe primarily using their pectoral muscles rather and upper trapezius muscles than their diaphragm.
One of the easiest preventative measures that may be taken at home (and in the workplace) to keep neck stress at bay is to stretch your neck muscles. Start by doing this routine once daily to prevent neck stiffness and feel better immediately.
We’ve got the moves..
Assisted neck pull
Hold your hands at your neck’s base with your elbows protruding to the sides. Get your bearings by standing up straight, inhaling deeply, and then exhaling while bringing your chin down to your chest and your elbows toward the floor. Relax and let your head hang low while you take a few long breaths here.
Put your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers; put your feet flat on the floor and draw your shoulders down and back. Now, bring your right ear down to your right shoulder and maintain the position for a few deep breaths. Swap sides.
Forward fold with a head nod
With your feet a little wider than hip distance apart, bend over at your hips and let your upper body dangle. Release your neck and nod your head ‘yes’ and ‘no’ slowly for at least 30 seconds.
The ‘yes’ stretch
Do a dramatic head nod ‘yes’. You should stare as high as you can towards the ceiling, then lower your chin as far as you can to your chest. For a total of ten repetitions or minimum 30 seconds.
Create a circle with your chin and move it three times counterclockwise and then three times clockwise.
What We Recommend
The shoulders round, and the head droops forward when the neck, chest and upper back muscles are shortened, overworked, or otherwise weakened. Consequently, the muscles and ligaments in your cervical spine, as well as the facet joints and discs in your spine, are placed under strain when you don’t maintain proper posture.
Chronic or recurring neck discomfort may result from poor posture in which the head is held forward. This condition may also be accompanied by tight joints, pain in the upper back and shoulders, and pain in the shoulder blades. We recommend a routine of neck exercises may alleviate or at least reduce these symptoms.