These Are The Best Exercises If You Have Neck Pain

Neck pain is, well, a pain. Fortunately, you can use some exercises to relieve that pain and prevent more pain in the future. However, make sure it isn't due to something serious. 

If you're experiencing neck pain, you may have injured yourself, you may not be practicing good posture, or you may have a severe health problem like a degenerative disease, bone abnormality, or tumor per WebMD. It's essential to see your doctor to get a proper diagnosis, rule out anything serious, and determine if you need surgery or other treatments. You might need a muscle relaxer, corticosteroid injection, or antidepressant, depending on what's causing your neck pain. However, if you have a muscle strain from poor posture, you can treat it at home with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or a pain reliever like acetaminophen (via WebMD). Additionally, you could use a heating pad or ice pack on your neck to help decrease pain levels.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy claims neck pain is common, will typically get better on its own, and is not usually caused by something serious. The pain should subside in a couple of weeks, and you should fully recover by six weeks.

Unfortunately, weakened neck, chest, and back muscles can cause poor posture and result in neck pain. According to Spine-Health, it can become a vicious cycle. It may help to strengthen your muscles to prevent further pain with a few simple exercises.

Strengthen your muscles with these neck exercises

The exercises that help with neck pain involve moving your head forward, backward, and side to side. According to Spine-Health, your neck likely hurts from weak muscles causing poor posture, and the best exercises are those that strengthen the neck muscles.

The North American Spine Society recommends three basic neck strengthening exercises. First, sit in a chair with your back straight, shoulders back, and neck in a neutral position — not too far forward and not too far back. Next, put one hand on your forehead and push while not allowing your head to be pushed backward. The resistance will strengthen your neck. Next, put your hand on the back of your head and push while not allowing your head to move forward. Finally, put your hand on one side of your head and push, not letting your head move to the other side. Repeat on the other side. Do each exercise for 10 seconds, three times, relaxing in between. Do all three exercises twice a day, every day, to prevent neck pain. 

Pay attention to your posture every day, especially when in one position for long periods — like sitting at a desk. Take regular breaks throughout the day to get up, move around, and stretch. If your symptoms worsen or change, see your doctor as soon as possible.