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What causes stiff neck?

People experience stiffness in the neck very frequently andthis problem does not always have to indicate some serious condition, because inthe majority of the cases, it is caused either by sleeping in an uncomfortableor awkward position, or by poor posture. Of course, in these cases, it usuallydisappears after a few days, and massage, gentle hot shower and perhaps pain relieversare all that it takes to speed up the process of healing. Still, it might bemore than useful to know that there are some exercises that can help with stiffneck by relieving the pain and by making the neck muscles stronger. This furtherresults in increased flexibility of the neck, which diminishes the chances ofgoing through the same problem again in the future. Surely, these exercisesmight help in cases when the cause is more serious, but it is recommended toconsult the doctor or physical therapist before starting to perform them.

Some stretching exercises that help with stiff neck

The fact is that the exercises for stretching are not at alldifficult to perform, and besides all the previously mentioned benefits thatthey bring, they also reduce the stress on the muscles and tendons in theaffected area, as well as inflammation, if present. Some of them are neck tilt,neck extension and neck flexion, and even performing only these few can bring significant relief.

Neck tilt needs to be performed in a standingposition, while hands are on the thighs. The head is first moved towards oneshoulder (this can be done with the help of hands, if necessary) until thestretching in the opposite side of the neck is felt. Then the person shouldstop and hold that position form some 10 seconds at least. The same should, ofcourse, needs to be done for the other side.Neck extension is done in the same position, but with a shoulder-widthdistance between the feet. The head slowly moves in a backward direction untilthe ceiling can be faced and until stretch is felt in the frontal part of theneck. Again, this is when the person stops and holds the position for at least 10seconds.Neck flexion is done in the same starting position as theprevious exercise, while hands are crossed on the buttock. The head needs to bemoved down with the look pointed towards the toes until the chin reaches the upperpart of the chest. The stretch should be felt in the back of the neck whiledoing this exercise and this is where the motion stops.

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