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Simple Stretches for Neck Pain

If you struggle with a stiff, sore, or aching neck, you’re not alone. Neck pain is one of the most common types of pain among Americans. Just like any other part of your body, exercising and stretching are essential to building strong and more limber muscles that are less prone to injury. Give these few stretches a try to help alleviate neck discomfort and avoid future issues.

Forward and Backward Tilt

  1. Start with your head squarely over your shoulder and your back straight.
  2. Tilt your chin up and bring the base of your skull toward your back. Hold for 10-15 seconds and return to the start position.
  3. Repeat for 5 sets.

Side Tilt

  1. With your feet hip-width apart and arms down at your sides, gently tilt your head toward your shoulder and try to touch it with your ear. Stop when you feel a good stretch.
  2. Hold for 5-10 seconds and return to starting position.
  3. Repeat for 4-6 sets, alternating sides each time.

Side Rotation

  1. Start with your head squarely over your shoulders and your back straight.
  2. Slowly turn your head to the side until you feel a good stretch in your neck and shoulder.
  3. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then slowly turn your head forward again.
  4. Repeat for 4-6 sets, alternating sides each time.

When performing any stretches, it is important to listen to your body. For an acute stiff neck that is painful and hard to move, you may only try each stretch once, take a rest, and try again a few hours later or the next day. As time goes on and these stretches become more comfortable, you can start to increase reps and sets. If neck pain persists or makes stretching extremely difficult, contact our specialists at St. Cloud Orthopedics to explore additional options.