Neck pain has become a widespread issue whether it’s related to a job, sports or exercise, or an injury.. The wear and tear of everyday life can cause stress and pain in the neck, which can . keep you from living the life you want to live. However, with the right knowledge, tools and resources, you can begin to heal and start to feel like yourself again.

If you are experiencing neck pain for a few weeks with no relief, it may be time for you to consult a doctor. Our team at, Arrow Physical Therapy has licensed physical therapists available to assist you at three different locations in New Jersey: Edison, Union and Woodbridge. Before you give us a call, let’s see if we can’t help you feel better by implementing some stretches at home.

Why is stretching the neck so important?

Did you know that poor posture due to sitting or standing improperly or for long periods of time can cause the neck and chest muscles to shorten and tighten? When you stretch the neck and back muscles, you are loosening the postural muscles, creating a greater range of motion and therefore reducing the discomfort and the pain.

Also, stretching the neck, chest and back can improve your respiratory function by lengthening the available space in your lungs. For active people, stretching also reduces the chance of injury and can help you heal and improve after an injury and/or surgery.

What are three neck stretches I can do at home?

The following are a few stretches you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to relieve stress and tension in your neck. These stretches work the shoulders and upper back as well. If you stretch the neck and the muscles attached to the neck, you will begin to feel a more complete relief.

Neck Stretch: The neck has six ranges of motion. It is important to stretch all six. However, if you don’t have a lot of time, just focus on the areas that are causing the most discomfort.

  • Neck Flexion: Slowly lean your chin to your chest and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • Neck Extension: Slowly lean your head backward as far as you can and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • Right Lateral Flexion: Slowly lean your ear to your shoulder and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • Left Lateral Flexion: Slowly lean your left ear to your left shoulder and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • Right Rotation: Slowly turn your chin to your right shoulder and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • Left Rotation: Slowly turn your chin to your left shoulder and hold for 10-15 seconds.

Shoulder Shrugs: Shrug your shoulders to your ears and hold tightly for two-three seconds. Rotate them back, still holding tightly and then release the tension as you let your shoulders fall. Do 10 repetitions.

Upper Back Stretch: Stretch your arms out and rotate your hands so that either your palms face away from each other or the backs of your hands face each other. Bend your upper back over (similar to the position you’d take diving off of a diving board) and put your chin on your chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat as necessary.

What if this isn’t enough?

If you are still experiencing discomfort, fill out the form on our website or give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed physical therapists. We are committed to helping you feel better and getting you back to your normal quality of life. Arrow Physical Therapy has three locations for your convenience in New Jersey: Edison, Union and Woodbridge. Contact us today.