Simple Stretches to Help Relieve Neck Pain

Do you often experience neck pain and stiffness throughout the day? Neck pain is extremely common amongst people who use a computer for work every day. If you’re suffering from neck pain, here are a few simple stretches that you can do right at your desk to help relieve tension in your neck!

Warm Up:

  1. Side Rotations–Look straight in front of you. Rotate your head to the left (as far as your neck will comfortably allow). Hold for two seconds and then rotate your head to the right side and hold for another two seconds. Complete the rotation 10 times.
  2. Side Bend–Begin by looking straight at the wall in front of you. Gently bend your head to the left side and bring your ear to your left shoulder. Do not lift your shoulder to try to touch your ear as this will make the stretch ineffective. Execute the same stretch on the right side. Complete 5 bends per side.

Stretch #1. Chin Tucks

  • Place a finger on your chin while looking straight ahead
  • Slowly bring your chin and head back (this may feel awkward and like you have a “double chin”). Do not bring your finger with you- there should be about two inches of space in between your finger and chin
  • You should feel a stretch at the bottom of your head and top of your neck!
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds
  • Guide your chin back towards your finger
  • Repeat stretch 10 times

Stretch #2. Upper Trapezius Stretch

  • Sit up straight and bring your left hand overhead and place it on your right cheekbone.
  • Gently bring your left ear to your left shoulder (make sure your shoulders are relaxed and aren’t tempted to lift upwards)
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Repeat on opposite side
  • Pro Tip: Do not push on your head, the stretch should not be painful

Stretch #3. Neck Extensions

  • Preferably In a standing position, roll your shoulders back then clasp your hands behind your back 
  • Gently extend your head back (looking toward the ceiling) 
  • Hold for 30 seconds

Bonus Tip: When it comes to neck stretches, avoid neck circles! Why? Neck circles are one of the most common neck stretches, but many do not realize the impact they have on your spine! Neck circles can put stress on your cervical nerve so it’s best to avoid them at all costs!

neck circles

Why is a strong neck important?

Don’t stop at neck stretches! Regular neck exercises and maintenance are so important in developing a strong neck. Benefits of a strong neck include:

  • Stress reduction in the cervical spine
  • Neck and spinal injury prevention
  • Improved posture
  • Helps to combat “text neck”

If you are suffering from ongoing neck pain, book an appointment with your chiropractor today!

General References:

  • Ask Dr. Jo. (2020, April 6). Neck Pain Relief Stretches – 5 Minute Real Time Routine [Video]. YouTube.
  • Meyler, D. Z. O. (2017, May 16). Easy Chin Tucks for Neck Pain. Spine-Health.