Neck and back pain can very easily cramp that perfect personality of yours. Imagine walking into your office with utter confidence, and the moment you open your laptop, Ouch! Here comes the dreaded pain. But you are not alone; believe it or not, there is lots of company. Soreness in the neck and back is possibly one of the most common problems people report in recent times. Probably because of how much time our laptops and cell phones are taking up, remaining hunched over a screen for nearly all day every day has to have some side effects.
However, similar to any other part of our body, you can effectively avoid the pain with a little bit of exercise. A couple of stretches and quick exercises strengthen, add flexibility, enhance range of motion and improve blood flow to the muscles working to dodge future pain. A strong neck helps prevent problems related to the back, shoulders and arms too.
You should feel the tension gradually leave your body, but if the exercises are not making things better for you or are causing an increase in pain, stop immediately. You can consult a healthcare provider at emeds regarding the situation and see if you require some other treatment.
Out of the following list, which comprises both stretches and quick exercises, you can shortlist as many as you like and spend at least half a minute to two on each one. Don’t forget to loosen up a little in advance.
1. Neck Side Bend and Rotation
Start by finding a comfortable position, standing or sitting. Move on to tilt your head to the right from your previous, forward-looking position. Wait for 10 seconds before tilting to your left; anti-clockwise. Wait another 10 seconds and after returning to the starting point, repeat the movements 2-3 times.
2. Shoulder Roll
This one is pretty simple and requires you to stand for the best results. Your arms should be at your sides, relaxing, before the exercise begins. Start with rolling your shoulders backwards 5 times and then in the forward direction.
Repeat the actions 2-3 times.
3. Overhead Arm Reach
While sitting in a chair with your face forward and feet on the ground, stretch your right arm over your head to reach the other side and feel the stretch in your torso and shoulders. After completing 5 repetitions, do the same on the other side.
4. Pec Stretch
While standing in a doorway, make sure your arms create a 90-degree angle with your forearms placed on the wall. Allow your body weight to slightly fall forwards and stretch your chest and shoulders. After holding for 10 seconds, repeat 3 times.
5. Chair Rotation
Sit sideways on a chair while your right side resting against the back of the chair. Start moving your torso to the right, reaching for the back of the chair. Stretch a little more while holding your body in place for 10 seconds and repeat the action thrice for each side.
6. Knee to Chest
This one is as simple as laying down on the ground and bringing your bent leg to your chest. Hold still in position for 10 seconds and then shift to the other leg. Be sure to complete the stretch three times on each side.
Placing your palms on opposite shoulders, draw your elbows together to meet. Hold the position for 5 seconds and release. Complete 3-5 repetitions.
Extend your arms out over your head while you lay on the ground. As you hold your neck in a neutral position, lift your legs in sync with your arms, don’t forget to engage your glutes and back. Professionals suggest briefly holding the position. Complete 3 sets comprised of 10 reps
9. Scapular Squeeze
With your arms down at your sides, press your shoulder blades into each other and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
10. Side Tilt
This stretch requires you to stand with your arms at your sides and feet hip-width apart. Start tilting your head to your shoulder to try and touch it without raising the shoulder. Stop at the point where you start feeling a stretch. Before returning to the starting position, wait 5-10 seconds and then repeat on the other side. You can do several sets of up to 10 repetitions.
11. Ankle Pumps
As you lay flat on your back, flex your ankles in towards yourself through your toes and then point away from yourself in the same manner as well.
12. Pelvic Tilt
Bend your knees while laying on the ground and put your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Press in your knees closer together but not your feet; flatten your back on the floor and hold the position. If need be, you can support yourself with your hands placed at your sides.
13. Wall Squats
With your back against the wall, take brief steps backwards until you’re around 12 inches away. Gradually, bend your knees while holding your core in and maintain the position for about 5 seconds.
14. Piriformis Stretch
Bend your knees when your back is flat on the ground and cross one leg on top of the other. Place your hands behind your knee and pull your legs in for a stretch. Hold for 20 seconds before you move on to the other leg. Repeat for five times on each side.
15. Pelvic Lift
Lie down on your back and bend your knees. With your arms on your sides, spread your feet at shoulder-width and move your hips off of the floor slowly while avoiding the arch. Make a straight line from your shoulders to knees if it is comfortable; if not, gradually build the capacity. Hold for 5 seconds, relax and repeat once again.
Exercise may not seem like a very enjoyable thing to do in your free time. However, it is one of the few things proven to combat and prevent back pain from making your life a living hell. Even as little as 15 minutes every day can help you against it, and as mentioned before, the muscles in working will strengthen your back, shoulders and neck.