Heed the warning signs: if headaches are making you irritable and your lack of energy has you feeling left out while friends and family whirl past you like energizer bunnies, neck pain might be the problem. Perhaps drudging through another day at the office seems nothing short of dreadful thanks to that crick in your neck. The pain can leave your spirits (and energy levels) completely sapped.
Luckily, you can significantly improve your stamina and increase energy levels by committing to these simple daily neck exercises that are proven to increase neck mobility while reducing pain. And since these exercises take no more than 5 minutes per day to perform, they're easy to squeeze into even the busiest of schedules.
Getting Started to Neck Pain Relief
Make sure that you pick out a comfy, flat-backed chair on which you will perform all of your exercises. Sit up straight in your chair, keep your head aligned with your body, and plant your feet on the floor. Pain should not be a part of the equation. If you feel any discomfort, discontinue the exercises immediately and do not resume until you have bought the advice of a professional chiropractor.
1) Neck rotations – Keeping your head level, gradually turn your head to the right as far as you comfortably can, looking over your right shoulder, and hold for 10 seconds. Then slowly turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder, and hold for another 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
2) Neck tilts – Tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear as close to your shoulder as possible, and hold for 10 seconds. Do the same on the other side, tilting your head to the left, again holding for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
3) Neck flexion and extension – This is simply bending your head forward and back. Beginning in a neutral position, gradually bend your head forward, letting it hang with your chin close to your chest, and hold for 10 seconds. Then slowly bring your head up and back so that you are looking at the ceiling. Repeat 5 times.
4) Half circles – Start by tilting your head toward your right shoulder as far as possible, then slowly swing it to the left in a fluid half-circle, moving your head forward and down until your chin is close to your chest, continuing until your head is tilted to the left with your left ear above your left shoulder. Then repeat the movement in the other direction.
5) Levator scapulae stretch – Tilting your head to the right over your shoulder, turn and drop your head slowly so that your nose is pointed toward your elbow, and hold for 10 seconds. You should feel the stretch in the muscle connecting the back of the left lower neck to your shoulder blade. Repeat on the other side.
Feeling Alive Again
After a little time and practice, you should begin to notice improved range of motion of the neck and a greater ability to perform daily activities. As you begin to hold yourself a little taller, others will take note of your new-found confidence as you enjoy a restored sense of pain-free vitality.
Neck pain can be draining, and it's often downright othersome. If you're experiencing headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, and irritability, identifying the source of the pain is the best way to eliminate the associated symptoms.