Most people often do not provide the suitable care of their necks until they experience some injury or neck pain. Michael Jonesco, a sport medicine physician claims that neck pain increases dramatically as a result of desk and technology-focused jobs. He points out that the desk jobs make your shoulders bend and protract thus creating a slumped position.
By time, this leads to hyperextension of the neck and tightened chest. So, to prevent this pain you should at first release the tension by the following 7 expert-approved stretches:
1. Chicken Wing
For this stretch, stand with your feet apart and place the hands behind your back. Hold your right wrist with your left hand. Then pull the right arm with your left one to your left low back. To stretch more, lower the right part of your head toward the shoulder. Stay in this position for half a minute and then change the sides. Jonesco states that with this move, you will stretch both sides of your neck and relieve the tension.
2. Corner Stretch
Bend toward the wall until you feel a stretch. Repeat this stretch 2-3 times, for half a minute. Jonesco points out that this is an excellent stretch for your upper back and chest. However, make sure you avoid it if you have some shoulder dislocations.
3. Levator Scapula Stretch
Stand in front of a wall, placing your left elbow against it, above the shoulder level. Contract the wall with your palm and in this way, you will stretch the levator scapula muscle. Then, turn your head on the left side. Lowering the chin to the right shoulder.
Repeat this stretch 2-3 times and stay in this position for half a minute. Jonesco states that this muscle is the most problematic one that causes neck pain and it is difficult to heal. So,it is important to avoid such painful condition, tone and stretch your muscles.
4. Standing Neck Stretch
Stand with your feet at shoulder-width distance from each other. Bend your knees and take some light weight in the left hand and lower your head on the right side, bringing the right side of your head to your right shoulder. In order to stretch more, bring the chin toward the floor.
Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds, then switch the sides. Tricia Brouk, a personal trainer states that this stretch activates the major muscles that release the neck tension.
5. Passive Neck Stretch
Start in a lying position with a rolled-up towel below your neck. Tip your chin backwards and the weight of your head will stretch your neck. Brouk favors this stretch as an excellent one that will relieve the tension resulting from your desk job. Also, the scalines, the little muscles on both sides of the neck that tense when smiling are often forgotten but this stretch will relax them.
6. Nose Circles
Sandy Pradas, a yoga teacher points out that you should start in a straight position with your neck in a straight position, relaxed shoulders and neutral chin. Lower the chin toward the chest and turn the right side of your head to your right shoulder.
Concentrate on the tip of your nose and perform 10 circles with your nose on one side and then on the other. Make sure they are tiny circles with your nose up to the ceiling. Make small and slow movements. When you finish with the one side, center your head and then continue with the opposite side.
7. Neck Turns
First, inhale deeply and as you exhale, turn the head to the left shoulder. With the next inhale, turn the head back to center. With the exhale, turn the head to look over right shoulder, then turn it back to center again. Repeat the stretch for 3-4 rounds. Andrew Keaveney, a yoga teacher states that this stretch activates the natural range of motions in the neck, providing an easy and free feeling.