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Best Physiotherapy Exercises for Neck Pain Relief

Say Goodbye to Neck Pain: A Guide to Physiotherapy and Exercise Solutions

Neck pain is one of the most common issues that people from all walks of life suffer from. However, it is often brushed off as insignificant and remains unaddressed. To maintain optimal muscle strength and flexibility, it is best to undergo physiotherapy routinely. Physiotherapy has proven to be effective in relieving neck pain and improving its range of motion. Before kick-starting your physiotherapy routine, remember that these exercises are to be done slowly and carefully. Common physiotherapy neck pain exercises to relieve neck pain include shoulder and neck stretches and some mobilization techniques.  

What is Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common condition that is characterized by discomfort or pain in the neck. It can arise due to tight and strained muscles or ligaments, poor posture, or inadequate sleep. It could also be associated with underlying conditions such as osteoarthritis, disc degeneration, whiplash, and other musculoskeletal conditions. Neck pain can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) in nature. Neck pain can be experienced in many ways, including constant, continual aches, burning pain, or sharp pain that extends from the neck to the chest, shoulders, or arms. 

Neck Exercises for Neck Pain Relief

Neck pain relief can be achieved through exercises that help improve neck strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Common neck exercises include lateral neck flexion, head turns, and rotary neck exercises.

Neck Rotation

Sit straight or stand upright. Rotate your head gently towards the left side. Please don't turn your head to its maximum capacity, and keep the motion slow. Now, repeat the same step on the right side. Your chin must be level with the ground throughout this process. Repeat the same cycle ten times and perform this exercise twice daily for neck pain relief. 

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Stand straight and raise your arms to shoulder height with your palm facing forward and your elbow bent. Move your arms back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat around 5 times. 

Apart from relieving neck pain, this exercise helps improve posture and strengthen chest muscles. 

Neck Retraction

Sit down while ensuring your posture is upright. Pull your chin straight backward and tuck it towards your neck. Do not strain your chin by trying to pull it to its extreme or tilt your head. Once you have tucked it back, keep your chin in the same position and push your head backward. Feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Relax and repeat the steps. 

Levator Scapulae Stretch

Sit on a chair and relax your upper body. Turn your head downwards at a 45-degree angle to your left side. Now, use your left hand and gently pull your head further downwards. Ensure you don't apply too much pressure as you feel a stretch in your neck. Hold this position for about 20 seconds and relax. Now, repeat the exercise on the other side. 

Upper Trapezius Stretch

Sit upright and relaxed. Tilt your head slowly towards the left side in a way that your ear touches the shoulder. Use your left hand to push your head towards the shoulder gently. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and relax in your seated position. Then, repeat the steps on the right side. This helps loosen the neck muscles and provides relief from neck pain. 

Neck Strengthening Exercises for Neck Pain

Physiotherapy exercises for neck pain relief help relieve distress, while neck strengthening exercises are designed to improve overall neck strength to ensure that pain doesn't recur. 

Neck Isometrics

Neck isometric exercises are a series of exercises that will help you maintain better neck strength and flexibility. These include chin tucks - extending your head backward as much as possible. Neck flexion - where you bend your neck forward and return to your original position, isometric flexion - where you apply pressure on your forehead with your hand, against your head, and more. 

Head Lifts

Lie down on your back with your knees bent. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Now, raise your hand and interlace your fingers behind your head. With your elbows by the side, lift your head up slightly while inhaling. Now, exhale and rest your head back on the ground. Repeat this step a few times to strengthen your neck. 

Neck Extension

Stand upright. Move your head backward such that you are looking above. Ensure that you are not arching your back in the process. Repeat the same step, but in the forward direction, with the face facing downward. Continue this cycle 5-10 times. This physiotherapy neck pain exercise helps prevent neck pain and maintains strength in neck muscles. 

Shoulder Blade Pinch

Stand upright and keep your hands relaxed by the side. Ensure that your shoulder is relaxed and slowly bring your shoulder blades together, creating a pinching feeling. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat the same process a few times. Neck pain physiotherapy exercises are often linked to other muscles that, upon strengthening, provide better support for the neck. 

Neck Muscle Exercises for Neck Pain Relief

Neck muscle exercises are a type of neck pain physiotherapy exercise designed to enhance the strength and flexibility of neck muscles. This will provide pain relief and an improved range of motion for the neck. 

Shoulder Shrugs

Stand upright with your feet shoulder distance apart from each other. With your hands by the side, bend your knees enough that it aligns with your toes. Ensure it doesn't bend any further. Inhale as you lift both your shoulders up to your ears. Do this slowly and gently as you feel the tension in your muscles. Lower your shoulders and repeat the experiment. 

Wall Angels

Stand with both your feet about 8 inches away from the wall. Place your back, shoulders, head, and buttocks against the wall. Pull your upper body close to the wall to ensure you are well connected. Now, raise your arms up against the wall, palms facing outward. Start sliding your arm down towards your shoulder with your elbows bent. Maintain posture and repeat the steps. 

Neck Flexion

Stay seated or stand upright for this neck pain relief exercise. Now, turn your head backward in a way that you see the ceiling. Hold this position for about ten seconds and return to your original position. Repeat the steps to complete the exercise cycle. This physiotherapy neck pain exercise is effective in relieving stress. 

Seated Twist

Be seated with your back straight and one foot over another in a cross-legged position. Now, move your right hand to your left knee and keep your left hand on the floor behind you. Inhale as you stretch your spine upwards, lengthening it. Then, turn to the right as you feel a twist in the base of your spine. Exhale while you twist. Repeat on the other side. 

Lateral raises

Stand straight with arms by your side and palms facing inwards. Keep your feet' hip distance apart from each other. Raise both your arms towards the side and extend them straight to your shoulder level. Now, hold the position and return to your original position to complete the cycle. Repeat the steps. Use dumbbells for this neck pain relief exercise if available to you. 

Stretches for Neck Pain Relief

Stretches are another form of physiotherapy neck pain exercise that is effective in relieving neck pain by reducing muscle tension and improving flexibility and range of motion.

Forward Neck Stretch

You can stand or sit for this exercise. Use the fingers of one of your hands to tuck your chin in a while, using the other hand to gently push the head downwards towards your chest. You feel a stretch on your neck in the process. Hold this position for about 15 seconds. Repeat a few times. Ensure that you don't strain your neck and finish the process gently. 

Side Neck Stretch

Stand straight and slowly move your head downwards towards the left side. Use your left hand to gently and slowly push your head further downwards. Feel the stretch as you push further. Now, return to the original position and do the same steps on the right side as well. Repeat about 5-7 times. This physiotherapy neck pain exercise helps maintain optimal flexibility for the neck. 

Ear to Shoulder

Straighten your spine while being seated or in a standing position. Tilt your head to one side gently and slowly as your ear touches your shoulder. Hold this position for a few seconds and raise your arm on the same side to softly push the head further into the shoulder. This simple physiotherapy stretch helps achieve neck pain relief. 

Child's Pose

For this physiotherapy exercise, sit on your knees with your buttocks on your heels. Now, slowly lean forward and keep your forehead resting on the floor. Relax your body. Stretch your arms forward, hold for a bit, and bring them back to the side of your thighs. Make sure not to strain any muscles in the process, and repeat the steps gently. 

Scalene Stretch 

Stay seated or in a standing position with your back upright. Tilt your head towards your left shoulder as you feel the stretch. Now, rotate your head slightly further to the left in a way that you can look over your shoulder. Then, pull your chin up slightly to increase the sensation on the left side of your neck. Repeat the steps on the other side. 

Take Away

Neck pain can be frustrating to deal with and can interfere with your everyday activities. However, with the right exercises, relief is achievable. Physiotherapy exercises are a great way to alleviate neck pain and strengthen neck muscles to prevent future pain. Call us to book a physiotherapy appointment at a clinic or in the comfort of your home: + 91 8951047001.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I do these neck muscle exercises? 

The required frequency of neck muscle exercises depends on the person. On average, neck muscle is recommended at least twice a week, but our physiotherapists recommend 3 or 5 times a week, depending on the issues you are facing. 

Can I do these exercises even if I have a chronic neck condition?

If your chronic neck condition causes severe neck pain and weakness, it is recommended to consult a physiotherapist before starting your physiotherapy routine. Based on their suggestions, you can tweak your exercise program. 

What should I do if these exercises make my neck pain worse?

Stop these exercises immediately if they make your neck pain worse or if it induces new types of pain. It is recommended to consult a physiotherapist if the pain persists after pausing your exercise routine. 

Are these exercises suitable for people of all ages?

Neck exercises can be performed by people of all age groups as long as you are careful about your form and technique. For seniors, it is recommended to take additional time to focus on the form before starting the movements.

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