Straighten Up: 5 Effective Neck Pain Exercises
In a highly competitive world, where individuals are a part of a rat race, each striving to be ahead of the other, very little importance is given to personal health and ways of nurturing one’s body. Selfish economic interests take precedence over personal care. Many people succumb to stress, suffer from anxiety disorders, go into a depressed state of mind or are unable to maintain emotional equilibrium. The inability to strike a balance between work and leisure is the primary cause which gives rise to health issues.
A great deal of importance has been consistently given to the need to exercise on a regular basis. Whether it is yoga, swimming, hitting the gym or aerobics, any kind of physical activity is absolutely essential. Age is no bar to an effective workout regimen. In order to incorporate a healthy lifestyle, transformations must be simultaneously made in one’s diet as well. Diet and exercise goes hand in hand.
When we don’t indulge in physical activity, it results in weakening of various muscles that perform vital functions of the body. Not exercising the muscles, keeps them inactive, stagnant and frozen thus leading to spasms and muscle pain. A very common problem associated with muscles is neck pain.
Causes of Neck Pain
The neck muscles are under constant strain; especially in desk jobs where you need to sit in the same position for hours focusing on your computer screen. Another cause for neck pain could be a lousy posture, where the spine gets bent. This puts strain on the neck muscles. While studying for hours at a stretch with inadequate back support and a bent neck is another disastrous habit.
Most of us do not realise, but another cause of neck pain is weakened muscles of the lower back. In order to avoid neck pain, it is crucial to strengthen the lower back muscles and then target the neck muscles. Many a times, your sleeping position also plays a role. Sleeping in the wrong position with a high pillow is a dominant factor responsible for neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach is a killer. The ideal way to sleep is on your back or on one side of the body.
According to Uday Anand, CEO, Crush Fitness, a few predominant causes of neck pains include the deficiency of Vitamin D, especially in India. It is often taken for granted that being outdoors is equivalent to the absorption of Vitamin D. It is far from the truth. Lifestyle habits like smoking could also contribute to neck pain. It aggravates disc disease.
Gaurav Molri, a Delhi-based Orthopaedic, suggests abnormalities in the bones and muscle strain are the two factors causing discomfort in the body. When one looks down constantly at one’s mobile phone, the soft tissues present in between the discs of the spinal cord get pushed outward. This facilitates pain. “Lordosis and Kyphosis are the terms used for inward curvature and abnormal neck condition respectively. The natural curvature of the neck is slightly inward.”
It is also vital to realise that many times, it is important to strengthen the muscles located in the proximity of the effected muscle. By strengthening those, the strain on the effected muscles could reduce, thus helping to alleviate the pain.
5 Neck Exercises to Get Rid of the Pain
1. Manual Cervical Traction
This exercise requires two people as partners. It is done to ease the pressure on the nerve that are under constant strain. With one person lying down flat, the other person must keep his/her hand under the neck of the person lying down and the other hand on the chin. The grip of the person giving the traction must be good. Repeat after every one minute. It provides instant relief from neck pain.
2. Shoulder Blade Contraction
Shoulder blade muscles are tissues which contract and relax based on the activity of the body. This movement allows you to ease the pain of the blades by involving the blades in active exercises. It will help improve the flexibility of the shoulder.
3. Neck Hyperextension
Extend your neck backwards and introduce hyperextension with pressure. It helps in effective spine positioning and proper balance.
4. Shoulder Shrugs
Shrug is an exercise which involves weight training. This is most commonly done in order to strengthen the upper trapezius muscles. The shrugs strengthen the already weakened muscles and prevent it from worsening.
5. Upperback Bentover Row
Step A: Bend forward at the hips until your trunk is at approximately 60 degrees flexion, while maintaining a flat back and head tilted slightly up. Stick your chest up and extend your arms fully.
Step B: Pull the shoulder blades back and together.
Step C: Lift the bar toward your middle and upper abdomen by pulling your elbows towards the ceiling, while keeping them fairly close to your body.
This helps in strengthening the back and thus relieves the pressure on the neck.
After following the above mentioned exercises on a regular basis, one is sure to eradicate all sorts of aches and pains and thus witness a healthy lifestyle.