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MOVE OF THE MONTH JANUARY ISSUE 2012

A sore and stiff neck is a common complaint. Our necks can be strained from poor posture, such as hunching over our computers; a previous injury; or stress alone can cause added tension to our necks. Use these moves to relieve stiffness and muscle tension.

 THE MOVES

ANTERIOR AND POSTERIOR NECK

Neck Rolls for anterior and posterior neck

  • Start by lifting your head forward towards your chest and hold for 3 seconds.
  • Reverse the motion and extend the head back and hold for three seconds.
  • Perform 10 repetitions. This should be a gentle motion.
 LATERAL NECK

neck roll for lateral neck

• Start by bringing one ear towards your shoulder and hold for 3 seconds.
• Reverse directions and bring the other ear to the opposite shoulder and hold for 3 seconds.
• Do not let the shoulders rise up towards the ear. Look straight ahead the whole time.
• Perform 10 repetitions.
• As long as it is pain-free you may add slight pressure to increase the stretch.

ROTATION

Neck Rotation

• Standing with your heels together and arms by your side, inhale and slowly turn your head to the right (gently not forcing it).
• Exhale and slowly turn your head back to the front. Repeat turning to the left side.
• Perform 10 reps on each side.

CERVICAL TRACTION WITH TOWEL ROLL

The goal of this exercise is to help bring the neck muscles into a more neutral state and to promote relaxation of tight and spasmed muscles.

cervical traction with towel roll

• Start by lying on you back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
• Work your shoulder blades toward your spine (scapular retraction). Allow your hands to lay
palms up.
• Place a small, rolled up towel under your neck to create a subtle traction. Do not use too big or too small of a towel. Keep your chin slightly tucked down. If the towel is too big you can always try unrolling part of it.
• Try performing for 10 minutes before bed. This can even be performed throughout the day. As with all of these exercises, stop performing if you feel any pain or if symptoms worsen.

Download Stretching Your Neck