Neck pain is something that many of us are all too familiar with. The older you get, the more it seems like it’s another normal part of life that we all experience. However, it doesn’t always have to be this way.
Whether you have a stiff neck from sleeping in a poor position, strained muscles from an injury like whiplash or a herniated disc, you have treatment options for neck pain. Treatments vary for everyone depending on the cause and severity of the neck pain, but one treatment that most people can benefit from is exercising.
How does exercising help reduce neck pain?
Your neck contains many muscles, tendons and ligaments that help support your cervical spine (the part of the spine in your neck) and your head. This soft tissue also powers your head for a full range of motion that allows you to accomplish many daily tasks. One of the primary ways to take care of this tissue is to exercise.
Exercising and stretching the soft tissue in your neck helps improve the neck’s strength and flexibility. This is beneficial for several reasons:
- Reducing pain — Stronger and more flexible muscles, tendons and ligaments provide better support for your cervical spine and head. This helps to keep pressure off the spine that can contribute to pain in the neck. Stronger and more flexible muscles are also less likely to develop trigger points that contribute to pain and stiffness in the neck.
- Improving range of motion — Improving the strength and flexibility of your muscles helps improve your range of motion. This is beneficial if you suffer from frequent muscle tension or are limited by conditions like a herniated disc or arthritis.
- Reducing the risk of injury — Since stronger and more flexible muscles help improve support for the neck, they help reduce the chances of conditions and injuries like strains, sprains or herniated discs.
- Alleviate headaches — Headaches are frequently connected to neck pain because tension in the neck puts pressure on the nerves running through your neck into your head. Reducing pressure off these nerves can help treat and prevent frequent headaches.
Discover simple neck exercises in our video guide and download your own printable guide
Is pain and stiffness in your neck making it difficult to get through your daily life? If you’re ready to try some simple exercises to help reduce and prevent neck pain, check out our free video guide here.
Our video provides a visual representation of how to perform some simple exercises safely to help treat neck pain. For further reference, you can also download a free copy of our written guide. The written guide details these exercises so you can print out a copy and use it for your reference whenever you want to exercise your neck.
Have questions about exercising to treat neck pain or want to talk to a physical therapist about other treatment options? Contact our team for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.