Neck pain is a thing. And a very common thing, at that. In fact, you yourself probably have some kind of neck pain or discomfort. If not, all of the gold stars for you because with today’s head-forward, rounded-shoulders culture, it’s getting harder and harder to prevent it.
For those of us that do, I have a solution for you. Perhaps not THE solution, but one that is so darn simple that you’re silly if you don’t do it. And it can make a huge difference.
I give you three humble neck stretches that you probably already know. You definitely know them if you’ve been to any of my yoga classes because I start every class with them.
Ok. Ready? You can do them right now as you read this. Go.
1. Gently tilt your head to one side. Take a few deep breaths. Let the shoulder of the opposite side drop. Keep breathing. Nod the head back and forth ever so slightly. Keep breathing full, deep breaths. Now bring your head back up.
2. Gently tilt your head to the other side. Take a few deep breaths. Let the shoulder of the opposite side drop. Keep breathing. Nod the head back and forth ever so slightly. Keep breathing full, deep breaths. Now bring your head back up.
3. Keep your shoulders back as you tilt your head forward. Let your head drop. Take a few deep breaths. Gently roll the head from side to side. Keep breathing full, deep breaths. Now bring your head back up.
Boom. Done. (Drops the mic.) (And then apologizes and picks the mic back up because they are expensive.)
Now, I know what you are thinking. That you already knew that. That this post was a waste of your time. That you could have told me this. But hey, let me ask you something.
How frequently do you do these stretches? If you already knew these, smartypants, then why aren’t you doing them all of the time? How many hours go by without you moving your neck around in a therapeutic way?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, most pain is created by small and simple habits. The way to heal this pain is with small and simple habits.
So in this case, the habit of keeping your head forward and stiff all day can be replaced with bringing your head back, back of the neck long, and stretching it out and moving it around regularly.
Your muscles need movement. They need fluidity. Your neck pain might need some more intervention, but with these stretches, you know that you are tending to their needs on some level. And that can go a long way.
So just try it. Set a timer on your phone if you need reminders, but give it a whirl this week. Get curious about if it could help you, and leave me a comment on how it goes.