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The Best Exercises for Cervical Neck Pain Relief

All About Cervical Neck Pain Exercises

Is your neck feeling stiff? Did this make you want to stretch your neck and relieve the tension? Neck pain is the most common complaint shared by most people. Several factors lead to this condition, from spending long hours staring at the screen to carrying heavy bags. Thus, it is essential to take active steps that help alleviate these distressing symptoms and improve your well-being. Here are some core exercises that show promising results in reducing neck pain. 

What Causes Cervical Neck Pain

Research indicates that several factors, from routine tasks to trauma or age-related illnesses, can lead to severe cervical neck pain. 

Poor Posture

Spending a significant period slouching, looking straight down at your phone, or bending your back can result in a forward head posture. This position adds excessive pressure to the neck leading to pain and tightness. 

Injuries or Trauma

Any type of fall, accident, impact, or whiplash can severely impact the neck muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. During an accident or fall, your head can jerk backward and forward due to the impact. This strains the soft tissues of the neck leading to inflammation and pain. 

Degenerative Conditions

Age-related conditions or degenerative diseases can lead to gradual wear and tear of muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. Cervical spondylosis, cervical degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, herniated discs, meningitis, or cancer significantly contribute to muscle atrophy leading to chronic pain in the neck. 

The Importance of Exercise for Cervical Neck Pain

The neck supports the weight of your head and facilitates movement. Hence engaging in stretching and strengthening exercises is crucial as it is vital in preventing or reducing cervical neck pain. There are several benefits to these exercises. For instance, simple neck stretches help lengthen and strengthen the muscles, stabilize and support adjacent spinal structures, and reduce the risk of developing degenerative diseases. 

Best Exercises for Cervical Neck Pain

Exercises are one of the most common approaches to treating neck pain. This approach is non-invasive and drug-free, but it is also a preventative measure for potential injuries or conditions. Our experts suggest the following exercises cope with cervical neck pain. 

Stretching Exercises for Cervical Neck Pain

Shoulder Shrugs

Follow the given steps to perform this stretch-

  1. Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Place your arms to the side with the psalm facing each other. 
  3. Slightly bend your knees and keep your chin up, looking forward. 
  4. As you inhale, raise your shoulders towards your ears. Do this movement slowly.
  5. Lower your shoulders down and exhale. 

Practice this exercise in 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

Chin Tucks

Follow the given steps to perform this stretch-

  1. Sit in a correct posture with your spine straightened. 
  2. Look forward and slowly move your head backward to tuck your chin down.
  3. As you move into this position, make sure you restrict the exercise only to your head. 
  4. Hold this position for 5 seconds. 

Practice this exercise 10 times. 

Neck Rotation

Follow the given steps to perform this stretch- 

  1. Sit in an upright position and look forward. 
  2. Slowly rotate your head to the left side. Make sure these movements are small, and your head is not completely turned to the left. 
  3. Do not let your chin drop to your chest. 
  4. Repeat the same stretch on the other side. 

Practice this exercise in 2 sets of 10 repetitions. 

Shoulder Rolls

Follow the given instructions to perform this stretch-

  1. Sit or stand upright with a straightened spine. Pull your shoulders back and down. 
  2. Gently shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. As you do this, avoid hunching your back. 
  3. Roll your shoulders back and down while squeezing your shoulder blades. 

Practice this exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions. 

Upper Back Stretch

Follow the given instructions to perform this stretch-

  1. Stand in the doorway with your hands and arms placed on the doorframe. 
  2.  Step forward with one leg to feel a stretch in your upper back. 
  3. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds. 

Practice this exercise in 2 sets of 3 repetitions. 

Cat-Cow Stretch

Follow the given instructions to perform this stretch-

  1. Start with your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
  2. Inhale and curve your spine down with your chest moving forward and your belly sinking. 
  3. As you curve your spine, lift your head and face forward. 
  4. Slowly exhale, curve your spine upwards, and release your head toward the floor. 

Practice this exercise for eight repetitions. 

Strengthening Exercises for Cervical Neck Pain

Neck Extension

Follow the given instructions to perform this strengthening exercise-

  1. Sit in an upright position. 
  2. Inhale and slowly bend your neck back and look at the ceiling. 
  3. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds. 
  4. Exhale and return to a neural position. 

Practice this exercise for five repetitions. 

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Follow the given instructions to perform this strengthening exercise-

  1. Stand erect and slowly move your shoulders back to squeeze the shoulder blades together. 
  2. Hold the position for 5 seconds and release. 

Practice this exercise for two sets of 10 repetitions. 

Resistance Band Rows

Follow the given instructions to perform this strengthening exercise-

  1. Place a resistance band around your doorknob. 
  2. Raise the band to your chest level with each end of the band in your hand. 
  3. Stand tall and keep the knees slightly bent. 
  4. Slowly pull your arms back while squeezing the shoulder blades together. 
  5. Do not lean back or shrug your shoulders.

Practice this exercise for 2 sets of 20 repetitions. 

Tips for Safe Exercise with Cervical Neck Pain

It is important to keep in mind your form and health restrictions as you perform any of these exercises. These stretches aim not to worsen your condition but to effectively cope and overcome neck pain. 

Start Slow

As you perform stretching and strengthening exercises, gradually increase the intensity of the same. This helps prevent strain or excessive pressure on the muscles of the neck. 

Listen to Your Body

Be mindful of the points of injury, pain, or inflammation in the neck. Our experts suggest recognizing the level of pain and modifying exercises based on the same. Hence, if you are experiencing severe pain, you must consult a professional and perform such exercises. 

Use Proper Form & Technique

While performing any exercise, form, and technique are crucial to achieving better results. Our experts emphasize the same as it also allows you to move efficiently, improve your range of motion, enhance your performance, and reduce the risk of potential injuries. 

How PhysioTattva Clinic helps you to relieve Cervical Neck Pain

The team of experts at Physiotattva is trained and specialized in the latest techniques and exercises to help you eliminate cervical neck pain. Our comprehensive assessments and customized treatment plans help address underlying factors leading to neck pain. If you are struggling with this condition, contact our experts at +91 89510 47001. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cervical neck pain be treated with exercises?

Several studies indicate that various stretching and strengthening exercises show long-term benefits in reducing pain and improving your neck's strength and overall functioning. These exercises stretch the muscles and provide additional support to the neck. 

How does poor posture contribute to cervical neck pain?

Slouching, bending your neck downward, and more can gradually impact your neck as it adds excessive pressure to the nerves and muscles, leading to strain. 

What are the causes of cervical neck pain?

Several factors can lead to neck pain, including-

  1. Poor posture 
  2. Accidents or injuries
  3. Repetitive movements
  4. Geriatric/Degenerative conditions (arthritis, herniated discs, cervical spondylosis, etc.).
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