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Exercises for Managing Chronic Neck Pain

A beautiful girl doing a neck exercise

Exercises for Managing Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain can significantly impact daily life, affecting everything from work to leisure activities. Finding relief is crucial, whether stemming from poor posture, muscle strain, or underlying medical conditions. Luckily, performing some exercises and physical therapy modalities can help you manage and speed up healing.

In this guide, La Clinica’s injury care specialist will reveal various exercises designed to help manage chronic neck pain effectively.

What is Chronic Neck Pain, and How Does it Occur?

Chronic neck pain is a persistent discomfort that lasts for an extended period, often beyond 12 weeks. It can result from:

  • Prolonged periods of sitting or working with improper neck alignment.
  • Strain on neck muscles due to stress, poor ergonomics, or repetitive motions.
  • Conditions like herniated discs or arthritis contribute to ongoing pain.
  • External factors, including the environment in which you work and live.

Understanding the root cause of your chronic neck pain immediately after you notice these signs of a neck injury enables physical therapy doctors to suggest suitable and safe exercises to promote healing and help you manage the pain.

A woman suffering from chronic neck pain

Do Exercises Help with Chronic Neck Pain Management?

Exercise is a powerful weapon in managing chronic neck pain. Various studies reveal how exercises and physical therapy help reduce chronic pain. One such study by the American Physical Therapy Association demonstrated that regular exercise significantly helps reduce motor responses that exacerbate pain or improve function by minimizing the motor effects of pain.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of exercise and physical therapy in managing neck pain.

✅Improved Blood Circulation

One way exercises help you manage chronic pain is by enhancing blood circulation. Targeted activities enhance blood flow to the neck region, resulting in various positive effects. Improved circulation delivers essential nutrients to the muscles and tissues in the neck.

✅Increased Flexibility

Another way targeted exercises can help you manage neck pain is by increasing flexibility. Range of motion exercises play a pivotal role in reducing stiffness, a common symptom of chronic neck pain. Incorporating dynamic stretches and controlled movements gradually enhances flexibility, promoting a broader range of motion and alleviating discomfort.

✅Enhanced Strength

Thirdly, targeted exercises can reduce chronic neck pain by strengthening the muscles around the neck. Chronic neck pain often involves muscle imbalances and weakness. Targeted strength-building exercises contribute to improved overall neck strength. Subsequently, it enhances the neck’s ability to support the head in a neutral position and reduces the risk of strain.

✅Stress Reduction

The next benefit of embracing exercises to combat neck pain is to relieve stress. The American Heart Association reveals that working out can relieve stress. Doing targeted exercises for the neck stimulates the release of endorphins, reducing stress levels and improving your overall well-being.

Practical Exercises For Chronic Neck Pain Management

A therapist treating a patient's neck

Here is a list of effective and safe exercises for chronic neck pain you can try at home.

Side to Side Neck Stretch

Side-to-side neck stretch is a safe and easy exercise at home. It can help you manage chronic neck pain by relieving tension and enhancing flexibility.

  • Stand or sit with your spine straight
  • Tilt your head gently toward one shoulder
  • You will feel a gentle stretch on the opposite side of the neck
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Turn to the neutral position and repeat on the other side

Chin to Chest Stretch

Another safe and effective exercise for managing neck pain is a chin-to-chest stretch. This stretch targets the muscles along your neck and upper back. It reduces tightness and tension when done correctly.

  • Sit or stand and keep your spine straight.
  • Lower your chin towards your chest slowly.
  • You will experience a gentle stretch along your upper back and neck.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds to complete the stretch.

Chin Tucks

Chin tucks can help you deal with chronic neck pain by stretching and strengthening your neck.

  • Stand or sit with your shoulders relaxed
  • Keep your spine straight.
  • Tuck your chin towards your chest.
  • Maintain for five to 10 seconds to feel the stretch along the back of your neck.

Scapular Squeezes

Scapular squeezes target the muscles between the shoulder blades, enhancing your upper back strength. Practicing this exercise regularly also improves posture.

  • Keep your shoulders relaxed with a straight spine.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Hold the squeeze for five to 10 seconds.
  • Gradually release.
  • Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating targeted exercises into your routine can help you manage chronic neck pain. However, individual response to exercises varies. Consult a certified healthcare professional before starting a new exercise regimen. Contact La Clinica today to discover tailored solutions for managing chronic neck pain.