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You may be able to slash neck pain with three easy stretches

Elderly Care Physical Therapy

Many people are familiar with the concept of stretching after working out or playing sports, but fewer people may be aware that stretches can also be helpful for neck pain.

Tight, stiff neck muscles are a common cause of neck pain. Stretching such muscles can lead to a number of benefits. For instance, stretching muscles is intended to realign muscle fibers, improve muscle range of motion and improve blood flow. All these benefits add up to the greatest potential benefit of all: reducing your neck pain.

A physical therapist can show you stretches for decreasing your neck pain, and some of the stretches your clinician may show you how to perform include the following:

  1. Neck extension stretch

Purpose: The muscles at the front of your neck could be one area where you’re experiencing neck pain. The neck extension stretch targets these muscles and can help decrease pain.

How to do the neck extension stretch:

  • Stand or sit up with a straight back and your head centered over your shoulders.
  • Without arching your back, slowly move your head backward so you are looking upward. You should feel a stretch in the front of your neck.
  • Hold this stretch for three to five seconds. If you need more support for your neck, you can loop a towel around the back of your neck and pull on it gently.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this stretch until you’ve done it eight to 10 times.

2. Neck flexion stretch

Purpose: The neck flexion stretch can be helpful for neck pain in the back of your neck because it’s designed to stretch the muscles there.

How to do the neck flexion stretch:

  • Sit in a stable chair, or stand up straight with your head positioned directly over your shoulders.
  • Slowly bend your head forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Return your head to the starting position, and then repeat this stretch two to four more times.

3. Upper trapezius stretch

Purpose: Programs of stretches for neck pain often include the upper trapezius stretch because it can target the muscles on the sides of your neck.

How to do the upper trapezius stretch:

  • Sit up straight and look straight ahead.
  • Slowly tip your right ear to your right shoulder until you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck. Try not to let your left shoulder rise up as you tip your head to the right.
  • Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Move your head back to the center, and then slowly tilt your head to the left. Try not to let your right shoulder rise up as you tip your head to the left.
  • Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch two to four times on each side.

Find stretches for neck pain and other treatment options at Agile Virtual PT

Looking for stretches and other strategies that can help treat your neck pain? Our Agile Virtual PT team is made up of more than 400 licensed clinicians who are primed to help you. Our team has a great track record of helping people reduce their pain. Indeed, our data shows that 93% of our patients report reduced pain after their virtual PT. Even better, you can get your virtual PT started with a free virtual screening. Contact our team today for more information about how we can address your neck pain or to schedule an initial virtual PT appointment to start reducing your pain.