What causes stiff neck?
People experience stiffness in the neck very frequently andthis problem does not always have to indicate some serious condition, because in the majority of the cases, it is caused either by sleeping in an uncomfortable or awkward position, or by poor posture. Of course, in these cases, it usually disappears after a few days, and massage, gentle hot shower and perhaps pain relievers are all that it takes to speed up the process of healing. Still, it might be more than useful to know that there are some exercises that can help with stiff neck by relieving the pain and by making the neck muscles stronger. This further results in increased flexibility of the neck, which diminishes the chances of going through the same problem again in the future. Surely, these exercises might help in cases when the cause is more serious, but it is recommended to consult 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 all difficult to perform, and besides all the previously mentioned benefits that they bring, they also reduce the stress on the muscles and tendons in the affected 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 standing position, while hands are on the thighs. The head is first moved towards one shoulder (this can be done with the help of hands, if necessary) until the stretching in the opposite side of the neck is felt. Then the person should stop and hold that position form some 10 seconds at least. The same should, of course, needs to be done for the other side.Neck extension is done in the same position, but with a shoulder-width distance between the feet. The head slowly moves in a backward direction until the ceiling can be faced and until stretch is felt in the frontal part of the neck. Again, this is when the person stops and holds the position for at least 10 seconds.Neck flexion is done in the same starting position as the previous exercise, while hands are crossed on the buttock. The head needs to be moved down with the look pointed towards the toes until the chin reaches the upper part of the chest. The stretch should be felt in the back of the neck while doing this exercise and this is where the motion stops.