Your physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine both the source and the cause of your symptoms. Below, is a list of stretches that might assist you in relieving your neck pain while you await your appointment. If any stretch causes you more pain, discontinue the stretch and ask your physical therapist for assistance.
Breakdown of Stretches for Neck Pain
1. Counter Stretch
Hold on to you kitchen counter or the back of a tall chair with both arms. Step back with your both legs. You should feel a stretch on both sides. Hold for a total of 60 seconds. It’s okay if you need to break this stretch up into smaller sets (e.g.15 seconds 4 times).
2. Side Lying Openers & Circles
Start in side lying position with a pillow under your head. Slightly bend knees bringing them toward your chest. Straighten both of your arms out at shoulder height against the ground. Take the top arm and rotate away from the other arm (like a book opening up!). Keep your hips stacked and do not allow them to open with your arm as you rotate. After performing 10 repetitions of “openers” now do circles overhead. In the same starting position do a big circle overhead with top hand and then return to the starting position, the same way you came. Perform 10 repetitions of “circles” and then roll on the other side and do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each side.
3. Foam Roller Pec Stretch
For this stretch, you will lay on the foam roller with it along your spine. So your butt should be near the end and head laying flat on the roller. Keep your knees bent for support and lay your arm straight out to the side like a scarecrow. Your arms should be able to relax so your hands stay on the ground. You will feel a light stretch across the front of your shoulder and chest. You can stay in this stretch 1-3 minutes.
4. Foam Roller Chin Tucks
Laying on your back or on the foam roller, look slightly down toward your feet giving yourself a small “double chin.” Lightly press the back of your head into the ground or foam roller. You should feel the muscles in the front of your neck working, as well as a light stretch in the back of your head and neck. Hold for five seconds, then relax back to neutral. This exercise is a very small, subtle motion. Perform 10 repetitions.
5. Quadruped Thread the Needle
Obtain a quadruped position (on your hands and knees) with a neutral neck and spine position. Reach your left arm underneath you and rotate your trunk as far as you can comfortably can. Then, reach your left arm overhead, rotating your trunk the opposite direction. This counts as one repetition. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions with each arm.
6. Doorway Stretch
Place your arms on the threshold of your doorway at or just below shoulder height. Push your chest through the doorway until you feel a stretch in the front of your chest. Hold for a total of 60 seconds. It’s okay if you need to break this stretch up into smaller components (e.g. hold 15 seconds 4 times).
Stretches for Neck Pain Video
We know it helps for many people to have a visual, so here is a video displaying some effective stretches to help with neck pain.
Find Physical Therapy for Neck Pain
By incorporating these stretches into your daily regimen, you will start to develop the muscles that have been causing your pain. Be sure to reach out to our team here at Impact Physical Therapy and schedule your evaluation today!