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Home / Patient Education / Exercise Library / Neck Exercises

Neck Exercises

The best way to prevent injury is by having strong, flexible muscles and joints that resist strain and injury. The back and neck like movement. Putting the back in a static position for long periods of time, such as sitting at a computer screen for hours, increases the risk of back or neck strain. The best preventive medicine for neck and back strain is movement. Take frequent breaks away from the computer screen to stretch.

Here are some easy stretching exercises for simple neck pain that can relieve simple cases of neck ache. Some can even be used on the job to relieve neck strain.

Neck Exercise Menu


Neck Glide

Neck Glide, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Start with neck straight. Slowly slide your chin forward. Hold for five seconds and return to starting position. Do ten times.


Neck Extension

Neck Extension, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Without arching your back, slowly move your head backward so you are looking upward. Hold for five seconds. Return to starting position. This is a good exercise to do during work to prevent neck strain.


Neck Rotation

Neck Rotation, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly turn your head to the left. Hold for ten seconds, then return to starting position. Then, slowly turn you head to the other side. Hold for ten seconds. Return to starting position. Do ten repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.


Lateral Extension

Lateral Extension, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Mouseover the image to see the complete motion.

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly lean your head to the left. Hold for five seconds, then return to starting position. Then, slowly lean your head to the other side. Hold for five seconds. Return to starting position. Do ten repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.


Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder Shrugs, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly raise both shoulders up. Hold for five seconds, then return to starting position. Do ten repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.


Tilted Forward Flexion

Tilted Flexion, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly lower your chin toward your chest. Hold for five seconds, then return to starting position. Do ten repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.


Deep Stretching

Deep Stretching, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina
Mouseover the image to see the complete motion.

Using your hands, gently and slowly stretch your neck toward each shoulder. Repeat by pressing your chin toward your chest.


Resistance Presses

resistance Press, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Resistance, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Using your hand as added resistance, try to push your head forward and backward.


Towel Pull

Towel Pull, exercise wilmington, exercise north carolina

Using a towel for added resistance, attempt to extend backward as shown.


NOTE: We recognize that people will diagnose and treat themselves. We have provided this medical information to make you more knowledgeable about nonsurgical aspects of care, the role of exercise in your long-term recovery, and injury prevention. In some cases exercise may be inappropriate. Remember, if you diagnose or treat yourself, you assume the responsibility for your actions. You should never do any exercise that causes increased pain. You should never do any exercise that places body weight on a weakened or injured limb or back.

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