8 Chiropractic Neck Exercises and Stretches for Pain Relief

chiropractic neck exercises for pain relief

Neck pain is a common complaint that can affect anyone. Neck problems are a common occurrence, especially as we use electronic devices more and more. It can be mild or severe and may last for a few days or several weeks. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor posture, injury, stress, arthritis, and degenerative diseases. In this article, we will explore eight chiropractic neck exercises and stretches for pain relief.  

Whether you’re experiencing occasional twinges or chronic discomfort in your neck area, our guide will provide you with valuable tips to help ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Benefits of Chiropractic Neck Exercises and Stretches

Neck exercises and stretches can help ease discomfort associated with neck pain. There are many benefits to trying chiropractic neck exercises and stretches, but remember, it is best if you are seen by an experienced chiropractor. Our team at Greater Orlando Chiropractic & Wellness can evaluate your needs, including the cause of neck pain, and create a personalized treatment plan for you. 

Neck pain is a common issue that affects many people. The good news is that chiropractic neck exercises and stretches can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this pain. 

Here are four benefits of including chiropractor-approved stretches and exercises in your routine:

Reduced stiffness and tension in the neck muscles

By strengthening the muscles around your neck, you’ll experience less strain on the tendons and ligaments, which ultimately leads to reduced pain and discomfort. Additionally, proper alignment of the spine through regular stretching can help reduce headaches caused by tension in the upper back and neck.

Improved mobility and range of motion

Chiropractic neck exercises and stretches can help improve your range of motion by increasing flexibility in the muscles and joints surrounding your neck. This improved mobility makes it easier to perform daily activities without experiencing stiffness or pain.

Decreased likelihood of future injuries

Chiropractic exercises and stretches can help prevent future injuries from occurring. By strengthening the muscles surrounding the cervical spine (the upper part of the spine containing seven vertebrae), you’ll be better equipped to handle everyday activities such as lifting heavy objects or turning your head quickly without straining yourself.

Better Posture

Poor posture is often one of the main culprits behind chronic neck pain. Chiropractic neck exercises focus on strengthening core muscles such as those found in the abdomen, back, chest, shoulders, and hips. These exercises aim to restore natural spinal curvature for better posture which reduces stress on the entire body.

8 Chiropractic Neck Exercises and Stretches for Pain Relief

Now that you understand some of the benefits and reasons why these types of exercises are essential, let’s dive into the eight movements that can help relieve neck pain. 

Please consider these precautions before you try any of the following exercises:

  1. If you have any existing medical conditions or injuries that affect your spine or neck muscles, consult with a healthcare professional before attempting this exercise.
  2. Stop immediately if you experience any sharp or sudden pains during any of the movements. 

1. Chin Tuck Exercise

One effective way to relieve neck pain is by doing chin tucks. These exercises are simple, easy to do, and can provide significant relief from neck pain.

The chin tuck exercise is a simple movement that involves bringing your head and neck back into proper alignment with your spine. This exercise helps to stretch the muscles in your neck, strengthen them, and reduce stiffness.

Here’s how to perform the chin tuck exercise:

  1. Sit or stand up straight with good posture.
  2. Gently tilt your head forward so that your chin touches your chest.
  3. Slowly lift your head back up while keeping your chin tucked in towards your throat.
  4. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds before repeating the exercise.

Benefits of this exercise:

  1. It helps to improve posture by aligning the head and neck with the spine.
  2. It stretches out tight muscles in the neck and shoulders which can help reduce stiffness and soreness.
  3. Regular practice of this exercise can help prevent future episodes of neck pain.

2. Shoulder blade squeeze exercise

The shoulder blade squeeze exercise involves retracting your shoulder blades towards your spine and holding them in place for several seconds. This movement helps strengthen the muscles between your shoulders while reducing tension in surrounding areas.

Here’s how to perform the shoulder blade squeeze exercise:

  1. Sit or stand up straight with your arms by your sides.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if trying to hold a pencil between them.
  3. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds before relaxing.
  4. Repeat this exercise for 10-15 repetitions.

Benefits of this exercise:

  1. Reduced Tension: The shoulder blade squeeze targets the muscles responsible for maintaining proper posture and reduces tension buildup in the neck and upper back area.
  2. Improved Posture: By strengthening the muscles that support proper alignment of the spine, this exercise promotes good posture and prevents future neck pain.
  3. Increased Mobility: Regularly performing this exercise increases mobility in the shoulders, which can help reduce stiffness and soreness associated with neck pain.

3. Seated neck stretch exercise

Seated neck stretches are simple exercises that can be done anywhere and at any time to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. They work by stretching the muscles and ligaments in the neck, which helps to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.

Here’s how to perform the seated neck stretch exercise:

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Slowly tilt your head to one side until you feel a stretch in your neck.
  3. Hold for 15-30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

You can also add variations to this exercise by adding gentle pressure with your hand or turning your head slightly while stretching.

Benefits of this exercise:

The benefits of seated neck stretches go beyond just relieving pain. They also improve the range of motion, reduce stiffness, and help prevent future injuries by strengthening the muscles supporting the spine.

4. Side-to-side head rotation exercises

The side-to-side head rotation is a simple but effective chiropractic exercise for neck pain relief. As its name suggests, it involves rotating your head from one side to the other while keeping your shoulders relaxed.

Here’s how to perform the side-to-side head rotation exercise:

  1. Sit or stand in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  2. Slowly turn your head to the right as far as you comfortably can.
  3. Hold the stretch for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
  4. Repeat on the left side.

Do this exercise several times throughout the day whenever you feel tension or discomfort in your neck muscles.

Benefits of this exercise:

  1. Increased mobility: This exercise helps loosen up tight neck muscles and improve the range of motion.
  2. Reduced pain: By stretching out tense muscles, this exercise can reduce pain and stiffness in the neck area.
  3. Improved posture: Regular practice of this exercise promotes better spinal alignment which will have an overall positive effect on body posture
  4. Better circulation: Movement is essential for proper blood flow which brings oxygen-rich blood supply needed by tissues like muscles helping them recover faster.

5. Forward flexion stretch exercises

The forward flexion stretch is a simple exercise that involves lowering your chin towards your chest while sitting or standing. This movement stretches the muscles at the back of your neck and shoulders, helping with forward head posture.

Here’s how to perform the forward flexion stretch exercise:

  1. Sit or stand with good posture
  2. Slowly lower your chin towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your neck and shoulders
  3. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds
  4. Slowly raise your head back up to starting position

Repeat this exercise 3-5 times for maximum benefit.

Benefits of this exercise:

The forward flexion stretch helps to improve flexibility, reduce tension and stiffness in the neck and shoulder muscles, increase blood flow, and promote relaxation. By incorporating this exercise into your daily routine, you may experience less discomfort from chronic neck pain caused by prolonged sitting, text neck (constantly looking down while on your phone), or working on computers.

6. Neck Rolls

A simple exercise that can be done anywhere, neck rolls involve gently rolling your head in a circular motion to relieve tension and improve flexibility in the neck muscles.

Here’s how to perform the neck roll exercise:

  1. Start by sitting or standing with your shoulders relaxed and your chin tucked into your chest. 
  2. Slowly roll your head to one side until you feel a stretch in the opposite side of your neck, hold for a few seconds, then continue rolling until you reach the other side.

Benefits of this exercise:

Helps alleviate stiffness and pain in the neck caused by poor posture or overuse of electronic devices.

7. Shoulder Shrugs

This exercise targets the upper trapezius muscle, which is often responsible for causing tension headaches and shoulder pain.

Here’s how to perform the shoulder shrug exercise:

  1. To perform this exercise, sit up straight with your arms at your sides. 
  2. Raise both shoulders as high as possible towards your ears while inhaling deeply, hold for 3-5 seconds, then exhale slowly as you release them back down.

Benefits of this exercise:

Relieves tension and tightness in the upper back and shoulders caused by stress or repetitive activities such as typing or driving.

8. Side Bends

This exercise helps increase the range of motion in the neck while also strengthening lateral flexors (muscles on either side of our spine).

Here’s how to perform the side bend exercise:

  1. Start by standing tall with feet hip-width apart and hands on hips (or wherever comfortable). 
  2. Keeping good posture throughout all movements – tilt your head sideways toward your right shoulder; return to center before repeating on the opposite side toward your left shoulder.

Benefits of this exercise:

Improves flexibility & reduces stiffness in neck muscles. Can also help alleviate tension headaches caused by tightness in the neck and shoulder muscles.

Other Ways to Relieve Neck Pain

  • Healthy Eating – Try an anti-inflammatory diet with less processed foods, and more whole foods to reduce inflammation in your body. 
  • Massage Therapy – A massage therapist can help loosen up any tight muscles in your neck or back that can be contributing to neck pain. 
  • Ergonomic chair and desk positions for proper posture – Be sure your desk is set up for proper posture so you aren’t struggling to sit up straight and your head and neck and properly aligned as you are working. 

Do Chiropractors Work for Neck Pain? 

Yes, absolutely! 

Chiropractic adjustments are a great way to maintain a proper range of motion and alignment in your neck and back.

Chiropractors can also offer more corrective exercises and neck retraction exercises to help alleviate pain. A recent study published in the National Institute of Health indicated that spinal manipulation may be beneficial to some patients with a neck injury. 

Routine Chiropractic care has many benefits and is also good for relieving headaches, and other spine-related ailments. That’s where our team can help you get back to living your best quality of life. 

Schedule an appointment today to learn more about how we can help you with your chronic neck pain.

If you aren’t local to the Central Florida region, find a local chiropractor near you. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to relieve neck pain and improve mobility, give these exercises a try! 

With regular practice and proper form, they may become an essential part of your daily routine for maintaining good spinal health. Remember, if you experience severe or chronic pain, it’s best to consult with a chiropractor before attempting any exercises on your own.

Contact us today for an appointment if you would like an evaluation and treatment plan for your individual needs!