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Simple stretches to loosen a stiff neck

stretches stiff neck

Stiffness in the neck is one of the most common symptoms that accompanies neck pain. The inability to turn your head to the side can interfere with daily activities or even prevent you from getting a restful night of sleep. Inflammation of the soft tissue from muscle strain limits range of motion in the neck. Fortunately, there are some simple stretches you can do right now to help loosen a stiff neck.

Neck clocks

Neck clocks are an excellent stretch to improve range of motion for the neck in all directions. This stretch can be performed either lying down with a rolled up towel underneath your neck or sitting up with your back fully supported.

  • Begin by closing your eyes and imagining a clock face in front of you.
  • Next, turn your nose toward where 3 o’clock would be and hold for five seconds.
  • Return to a neutral position and repeat for the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions.
  • Repeat for three sets clockwise and three sets counterclockwise.

The most important thing to remember with this stretch is to not force the neck beyond what is comfortable. Also, keep the shoulders relaxed and do not shrug them while performing the stretch.

Arms behind the back neck stretch

This technique is very useful for alleviating stiffness and providing a deep stretch in the sides of the neck.

  • Start by standing with your feet placed about hip distance apart.
  • Place both hands behind you, near the buttocks, with the right hand holding the left wrist.
  • Using the right hand, pull and straighten your left arm gently.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch sides.

To get a deeper stretch, lower your ear toward the right shoulder when the right arm is pulling the left, and to the left when your left arm is pulling the right.

Physical therapy for a stiff neck

The physical therapists of Border Therapy Services are skilled in treating all kinds of neck pain and stiffness. After a thorough examination to determine the root cause of your pain, the therapist will develop a personalized treatment program based on your needs. If you have neck pain or stiffness, contact us today to set up your initial appointment.