One out of 3 people experience neck pain at least once a year. While types of neck pain can vary, they can all significantly impact a person’s range of motion. Range of motion refers to the amount of movement around a joint or body part. Neck stiffness often reduces a person’s range of motion and makes moving the neck extremely painful. However, using neck range-of-motion exercises can help combat neck pain and restore a healthy range of motion.
4 benefits of doing neck range-of-motion exercises every day
Range-of-motion exercises can be effective methods for pain and stiffness relief. According to a study, stretching exercises considerably lowered patients’ neck pain. Besides minimizing pain, though, neck range-of-motion exercises can:
- Improve posture — Because many people spend hours bent over their phones or computers, their necks can stiffen, leading to a shortened range of motion. Neck range-of-motion exercises can help realign and straighten the neck before and after long working hours.
- Relieve tension — For many people, neck tension and headaches are linked. When nerves in the neck are compressed or irritated, a headache can be triggered. Stretching the neck can help relieve tension in the muscles around the head, easing symptoms of migraines and headaches.
- Improve blood flow — Your neck is an extension of your spine. In particular, the cervical spine vertebrae are most closely connected to your spinal cord. By moving the muscles around your neck, you can encourage blood flow to the spinal cord and brain — central parts of the nervous system. Increased blood flow encourages the nervous system’s healthy function.
- Increase strength — Neck mobility exercises help strengthen the neck. A stronger, healthier neck can more comfortably bear the weight of the head and shoulders. It can also help relieve pressure from the vertebrae. In addition, a stronger neck can help protect the brain. A study revealed that stronger neck muscles better protected the brain from athletic injuries.
Types of neck range-of-motion exercises that can benefit your mobility
A few range-of-motion exercises can help target many muscles in your neck. By using the weight of your head alone, you can gently stretch your neck and help relieve stiffness and pain. Exercises can include:
- Neck tilts — This involves tilting the neck to one side, holding it for 10 seconds and then repeating the motion on the other side.
- Neck rotations — Neck rotations include turning the head as far as possible to one side, looking over the shoulder. You can hold this position for at least 10 seconds before repeating on the other side.
- Neck flexion and extension — This exercise includes bending the head forward until the chin is close to the chest. Then, the head can fall in the opposite direction until it’s looking up. You can hold both positions for at least 10 seconds.
Armor PT can help improve your neck’s range of motion
Is your neck pain hindering your ability to turn your neck the way you used to? Armor Physical Therapy’s team of experts can address the cause of your neck pain and help restore your range of motion. We can also help you discover and practice the neck range-of-motion exercises that work best for you. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.