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Exercises For Neck Pain And Upper Back Stiffness

Exercise 1: Deep neck flexors activation

deep-neck-flexors-activation-1 deep-neck-flexors-activation-2

How to do it

Stand, leaning with your back against the wall and your feet slightly away from the wall.

Gently, tuck your chin in as if you want to bring the back of your neck (not head!) towards the wall, getting a “nice” double chin.

Make sure your head is straight through the whole exercise.

Hold for 5 secs (and progress gradually to 10 secs, during the course of a week)

Start with 5 repetitions (and progress to 10 repetitions, during the course of the week)

Do it 2 or 3 times a day

This exercise is meant to be pain free

Exercise 2: Deep neck flexors, progression with elastic band

deep-neck-flexor-elastic-band2 deep-neck-flexor-elastic-band1

How to do it

Get an elastic band around your head, so that the band is over your ears, as shown in the pictures above.

Then, tuck the chin in, holding the neck in the same position as per Exercise 1 (Figure 2)

Stretch the band gently and hold for 10 seconds. (Figure 4)

Start with 5 repetitions (and progress to 10 repetitions, during the course of the week), Twice a day

Note: The exercise is meant to be pain free!

Exercise 3: Child pose (for upper back mobility)

child-pose2 child-pose1

How to do it

Kneel down and sit on your heels.

Bend forwards and whilst you keep your buttocks down on your heels, try to slide your hands forwards moving them away from you and bring your nose towards the floor to feel a gentle stretch on your upper back.

Hold for 5-10 secs;

Then, get your left hand under the right armpit and make sure your head is looking through under the armpit and hold for 5-10 secs;

Repeat to the other side,

5 repetitions, 2x day

Just one last note:

Posture and neck muscle weakness is a result of hours, days and months (and years) of unfavourable posture, stiffness and poor muscle activation, therefore in order to achieve some level of benefits, it’s important that you are consistent with these exercises for a good while.

Try these exercises and let us know how you’ve felt!

*****Disclaimer: When attempting these exercises, please use common sense and do not perform or modify if there is pain or discomfort! Necks can be irritable areas so please look for a qualified physiotherapist if you do experience neck pain. They can treat and supervise you through these exercises.

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