Home Neck Exercises – A Program For Helping Neck Pain
Exercise is an important part of treating and preventing neck pain. Treat your neck and keep it healthy with good posture and exercise. This will also help keep your spine healthy. When your neck is overworked, you may feel pain in your head, upper back, shoulders and arms. You may also have tingling, numb fingers or feel dizzy or nauseated. You can follow these home neck exercises to get you on the road to better health.
Neck pain is the result of poor posture, inactivity, emotional stress or injury. Following some simple guidelines may be all you need to be free of neck pain.
Use a Correct Sitting Posture
You can follow some ergonomic tips for correct posture when sitting at a computer. You can get a nice stretch while at your seat with the sitting back exercise and keeping good back posture will also help with neck posture. Remember, sitting posture should be used at home as well as at the office. A great product to help keep the muscles active while sitting is the Active Cushion Backtivator.
Change your positions often. This will keep stress and strain from your neck and upper back. Take lots of breaks when you are working on something for a long time. This will prevent overuse and abuse of the muscles and ligaments that support your neck.
Use Only One Pillow at Night. Support your head with one pillow when you sleep. It should keep your head in a level position. Putting too many pillows under your head often causes a “kink” in your neck in the morning. Functional pillows are the best for maintaining correct posture in the back and side sleeping positions.
An active lifestyle is an important part of treating and keeping a healthy spine. Aerobic exercise (such as walking, biking or swimming) keeps your muscles toned and increases blood flow to the muscles, ligaments and discs in your neck. Start with five minutes a day and work up to 20 to 30 minutes each day.
Do Home Neck Exercises (Range of Motion and Isometric) These two kinds of exercises can be done at home and will help you get back to your regular activities with less pain. Do these exercises one to three times a day. The important point is that you use smooth controlled motion at all times, don’t jerk or bounce at all. If you have increased pain or discomfort, stop and call your health care provider.
Home Neck Exercises
Range of Motion Home Neck Exercises
|Range of Motion Neck Exercise 1.
Stand or sit with your hands behind your neck. Gently tilt your neck backward and look to the ceiling. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
|Range of Motion Neck Exercise 2.
Stand or sit with good posture. While facing forward, tip your ear toward your shoulder. Do this three to five times to each side.
|Range of Motion Neck Exercise 3.
Stand or sit with good posture. Gently turn your head to the left, then to the right.
|Isometric Neck Exercise 1.
Stand or sit with good posture. Put your palms against your forehead. Press your head into your palms. Don’t move your head or hands. Hold five seconds.
|Isometric Neck Exercise 2.
Stand or sit with good posture. Put your palm on each side of your head. Press your head into your palm. Don’t move your head or hand. Hold five seconds to each side.
|Isometric Neck Exercise 3.
Stand or sit with good posture. Hold your head. Rotate your head to each side. Don’t move your head or hands. Hold five seconds to each side.
|Isometric Neck Exercise 4.
Stand or sit with good posture. Put your palms against the back of your head. Press your head into your palms. Don’t move your head or hands. Hold five seconds.
|Isometric Neck Exercise 5.
Stand or sit with good posture. Relax your shoulders at your side. Pinch (elevate) your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold three seconds.
|Isometric Neck Exercise 6.
Stand with your elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Pinch your shoulder blades together as you rotate your arms outward. Hold five seconds.
- A 2017 study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation found that a home exercise program consisting of isometric extension for 3 months provided significant benefits for neck pain reduction and curve restoration.
Although the benefit of these exercises is no equipment is required, we do have neck exercisers for more advanced or concentrated therapy.
- A 2020 study in the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics showed a high positive response rate to home neck exercise training. Greater benefits were seen in those with higher neck disability and slower neck motion.
This is a simple and general home exercise program for neck pain and may be all that is necessary, however, we suggest starting with the introductory neck exercises. When the introductory neck exercises and neck stretching are mastered, exercises to improve the function of some weak muscles associated with specific goals or preferences can be looked into:
trapezius myalgia exercises, posture exercises, pain directional exercises, strengthening, neck & shoulder and the simple neck lengthening exercise. For a comprehensive manual of neck exercises, please see exercises for neck stability. Also see back pain exercises.