Few things can ruin your day like pain in your neck. It often seems to come from out of nowhere, and though we tell ourselves that it will go away, every time you go to turn your head you’re reminded that things simply aren’t normal. It can be excruciating.
A number of different things can cause neck pain. In some cases it arises from stress or simply sleeping in the wrong position. In other cases it is a matter of degenerative changes to the cervical spine, an injury that occurred as a result of exercise or an accident, or even poor posture.
Though you may believe that you know exactly how your neck pain started, the truth is that there are many occasions where there’s an underlying problem within the thoracic spine that then progresses into neck pain as a result of biomechanics, injuries or other inputs from our daily lives. One of the biggest problems is that we are simply too still. Our bodies are made to move around, but far too many of us spend too many hours seated at desks or on couches.
Though neck pain that is caused by a degenerative disc or a problem with the spine requires attention from a cervical spine specialist in New Jersey, there are some aches and pains that you can address on your own, in the comfort of your own room. Here are four exercises that do a good job of easing tension, pain and lack of mobility in the neck.
1. Tennis Ball/Foam Roller Roll
Start by lying on your back with either a foam roller or a tennis ball positioned under you at shoulder blade height. Lift your hips up and engage your abs and glutes so that your hips, back and neck form a straight light. Support your neck by clasping your hands together behind your head, then roll back and forth on the roller or ball to give the muscles in your shoulders and neck a massage.
2. Standing Awtuvi
All you need is a flat wall to do this exercise. Stand next to the wall with your back and arms pressed flat against it, then pull your shoulder blades back and down. Press against the wall with your elbows, shoulders and wrists, then move your arms so that you are forming each letter in the word AWTUVI. Repeat several times to thoroughly stretch your back.
3. Prone Awtuvi
Do the same exercise as described above in the Standing Awtuvi listing, but start by lying flat on your stomach with your arms at your side and your head and feet extended and elevated. Create the letters to the word AWTUVI with your body.
4. Sitting Spine Rotation with Foam Roller
Start by sitting on a chair with your upper body straight and your hands behind your head, fingers intertwined and elbows pointing out. Place the foam roller between your thighs, pressing them together. Now turn your head, elbow, shoulders and spine to the left, tilting your upper body to the side. Repeat on the other side. Do the exercise several times.
If you don’t find relief from adding these exercises to your daily schedule, call our cervical spine specialist to make an appointment.