Simple exercises to relieve neck pain


Cervical pain, also called neck pain, stiff neck, neck pain or whiplash, is a discomfort that affects the structures of the neck: muscles, nerves, vertebrae, or joints.

Here we tell you why it happens and how to do exercises at home to relieve it.

Those who suffer from neck pain usually explain that they have serious difficulties moving their neck, especially when they try to turn it.

When neck pain involves nerves, you may also feel tingling, numbness, and even pain or weakness in your hands and arms.

Many factors are responsible for cervical pain, although among the most common we find:

  • Poor posture while working, watching TV, reading, or using the computer.
  • sleeping in awkward positions
  • Strain your neck during exercise.
  • Lifting heavy things with poor posture or roughly.
  • Suffer falls or accidents that cause fractures of vertebrae.

How to treat neck pain

Neck pain can often be temporary, but if it lasts, it causes discomfort that makes it difficult to carry out daily activities and prevents maintaining balance, a health professional should be consulted as soon as possible.

Neck pain treatments typically include:

  • Apply hot or cold compresses to the affected area.
  • Take showers with water at the highest pressure and temperature that is tolerated, preferably when getting up, over the neck and shoulders for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Receive physiotherapy treatment, as it helps to relax the muscles and improve cervical mobility.
  • Suspend normal physical activity for a few days.
  • Use heating pad to apply dry heat.
  • Use analgesics, anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants (always under medical recommendation and supervision).
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Exercises to relieve neck pain

Another way to combat neck pain is by performing a series of simple exercises. Let’s see which ones and how to do them:

Lateralization and inclination

To perform this exercise you must be seated with your feet well supported and your arms must fall naturally to the side of your body (you can close your hands in a fist).

Turn your head to one side and support the opposite hand on the side as you lean over the ear that is pointing toward the ceiling. This is to help you bring your head toward your shoulder. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.

Then slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Remember: the shoulder must be stabilized, that is, it must not move or rise.

Rotation

To perform this exercise you must be seated with your feet well supported and your arms must fall naturally to the side of your body (you can close your hands in a fist).

Simple exercises to relieve neck pain

Rotate your head to one side, your gaze should accompany the movement (ie, you don’t look up or down).

You can help yourself with the opposite hand of the side you rotated your head to achieve the movement. To do this, place your palm on your chin and gently stretch.

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Then slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. You must maintain the position on each side for 20 to 30 seconds and perform 3 repetitions.

antepulsion and retropulsion

This exercise is also known as the forward and backward throw or forward and backward slide of the head.

You must be seated with your feet well supported, your arms crossed, your palms resting on your chest (to stabilize it), your head in a neutral position and your eyes looking at a fixed point.

Bring your head and neck forward (the trunk does not lean forward and the gaze remains fixed, the head does not go down or up, but projects forward) and then backwards (as if you wanted my double chin to be marked ).

Another variant to perform this exercise consists of leaning against a wall (you can be sitting on a bench without a backrest), with your knees bent and your back, shoulder blades and shoulders in contact with the wall.

Make the movement of the head forward and then back until the head contacts the wall (without losing the starting position).

Finally, antepulsion and retropulsion can be performed lying on your back. To do this, place a rolled towel under the neck and slide forward (towards the ceiling) and backward (marking double chin) so that the neck presses on the towel.

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Flexion and slight rotation

To perform this exercise you must be seated with your feet well supported, your arms by your side and your hands placed on your thighs.

Move your head and neck back and then bring your chin to your chest. Once located in this position, turn your head to the side trying to look at a shoulder. Then return to the starting position and repeat to the other side.

Remember: the trunk should not accompany the movement. If you have difficulty keeping him still, you can place your hands on his chest to stabilize and control him.

self-massage

Place your thumbs on the occipital bone (back, bottom, and middle of the skull) and apply light pressure, bringing your thumbs from the outside to the center slowly and steadily.

Another variant is to place the fingers in the central part of the neck and apply pressure and then move the fingers from the center outwards. It should start from the nape of the neck and reach the trapezius muscles (upper back area).

Sources consulted: American Chiropractic Association, US National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

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