Neck pain is the next most common pain after back pain in the United States.
It’s likely at some point for a year or during your lifetime, you will experience neck pain, according to the Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology journal.
Plus, women are more likely than men to have neck pain. The numbers might be scary. But it is all to say that neck pain is much of a big issue than we ever thought.
Risk factors of neck pain stem from a lot of roots.
But the most common ones include a history of neck pain in the family, physical trauma, or sports injuries (wrestling, football, etc).
Certain occupations including regular computer workers, manual laborers and health care workers may also have these risks.
Other risk factors include physical activities, repetitive movements, fitness activities, and injury or illness.
How to reduce neck pain
Now here comes the good news: there are several ways to combat neck pain. One of the ways we will talk about in this article is using simple strength exercises.
For years, strengthening exercises have provided relief to chronic neck pains. Take for example the study conducted by the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen.
Women were the primary subjects of the study. And these women were in varied professions including assembly line work and office work.
Also, about 79 percent of the participants used keyboards for more than three-quarters of their working time.
The subjects in this study performed strengthening exercises for 20 minutes, three times a week for 10 weeks. And the results were incredible.
At the end of the trial period, the group of women who underwent the strengthening exercises reduced their neck pain reduced by 70 percent.
What are some exercises for neck pain relief?
So here’s the point: This study proves that strengthening exercises go a long way to provide neck pain relief. Let’s look at some of the simple strengthening exercises that can give us some neck pain relief.
1. Side Stretch
This is one of the healing exercises you might have done before, and you didn’t even know it.
In its simple nature, it provides a lot of neck pain relief.
- Start by standing in a neutral position. Be as comfortable as possible.
- With your gaze in front of you and your head straight, tilt your neck to your side.
- And push down as if you want your ear to touch your shoulder (though it is not possible). Whiles doing this, be sure not to raise your shoulder.
- Stay in this position for about 1 to 15 seconds and do the same to the other side. Through it all, you should feel light stretches in your neck.
2. Neck Flexion
This another very simple strengthening exercise that brings neck pain relief.
- In a standing position, gently slide your head backward as you keep your gaze in a straight line.
- Do not move your gaze as you slide your head backward.
- Intertwine your fingers behind your neck and gently push your head with your intertwined fingers forward till your chin touches your shoulders.
- Stay in this position for about a minute. Relax. And have a go at it again. You will start to feel a stretch at the back muscle of the neck.
- If this starts to feel uncomfortable, stop it.
3. Rotating necks
This exercise relieves the neck of pains. It also relieves it from stress and bringing further relief at the upper back and shoulders.
- Stand in a neutral position keeping your head straight.
- Your arms should be comfortably at your sides.
- Drop your head down so that your chin meets your chest.
- Keep that position for five seconds and go back to the neutral position (The head straight).
Continue by pushing the head backward while keeping your gaze straight from the neutral position. Return to a neutral position. Tilt the head to the right side by trying to touch your shoulders with your right ear.
Return to the neutral position and tilt your head to the left side by trying to touch your shoulder with your left ear. Take a break and go at it again for five sets to ten sets.
4. Lateral Raise
For more challenging exercises to get rid of that neck pain, use light weights or dumbbells will be excellent. (Pro Tip: Make sure to lift those weight the right way to avoid back pain)
- Start by standing in a neutral position shoulder-width apart with the dumbbells in both arms, resting at the side of your body.
- Bend your knees slightly.
- Raise your arms sideways until they are parallel with the floor.
- As you raise your arms, don’t lock your elbows (leave your arms bent at the elbows slightly.
- Now, drop your arms slowly without touching your body at all times.
- Repeat the process ten times for four sets.
5. Dumbbell Shrug
This exercise needs dumbbells to be done successfully.
- Stand in a neutral position and hold dumbbells in each hand whiles resting at the sides of the body.
- Stand at shoulder-width apart. Shrug your shoulders and leave them upwards for about ten seconds.
- Allow your arms to hang at the sides of your body while your shoulders are up.
- Release them and go at it again. Perform this exercise between five and ten times each set.
6. Upright Row
To begin, start by standing upright holding the dumbbells in front of your thighs.
Be sure to let your palms face your body. Continue by lifting them to your chest as if you were zipping up your jacket. Stay in this position for about five seconds and gently lower your arms down. Repeat this between five to ten times each set.
You can get neck pain with any of these simple exercises. Do them frequently or as often as make sense for your schedule. If the pain persists, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor.