This article outlines a few basic stretches for the Neck and Upper Back. These stretches are meant to provide you with some daily stretching activity that can provide relief for stiffness and tightness in the muscles and joints. Basic stretching exercises are easy to perform and the results can be helpful in controlling intermittent neck and upper back discomfort from repetitive or stressful activities. Performing one or two of these exercises a few times during the day may be very helpful to aid you in making your normal activities of daily living more comfortable.
Cervical Spine or Neck
Lateral neck stretch by tipping the head towards the shoulder. Do NOT rotate the face towards the shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds on each side of the neck. Repeat 5 times each side.
Rotate the chin towards the shoulder holding the head level and not dropping the chin to the shoulder. Do both sides of the neck for 20 seconds each direction.
Extend and rotate the face to 45°. Hold for 20 seconds on each side of the neck.
Upper Back Stretching Exercises
Seated trunk twist stretch to be done to each side and held for 1 count per side. Return to the forward facing position for a 1 count stop before stretching to the opposite side for a 1 count stop. Perform 10 reps to each side.
Seated side bending stretch. Tip from side to side stopping at the forward starting position each time. Hold each side movement for a 1 count stop plus a 1 count stop in the forward position.
Standing or seated reaching stretch. Hold your arms and hands out in front of you, lower your head and stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
While standing bend forward at the waist, drop the arms toward the floor, nod the head down and arch the upper and middle back. Hold the stretch for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
These exercises are meant to assist you in taking care of minor aches and pains. If you have significant complaints that limit your daily activity, consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of doing these stretching exercises on a daily basis.
The doctors at Coon Rapids Chiropractic Office have experience in the care and treatment of neck and upper back complaints.