Best Neck Stretches for Decreasing Stress
The best neck stretches for decreasing stress are the ones that can be done conveniently. So long as stretches can be done without causing pain they can be effective in reducing stress and, sometimes, pain. Stretching has always been an important part of my patient’s treatments at my San Diego chiropractic clinic. It is no surprise that when my patients stretch, they get better faster and have less of a chance of developing a similar problem in the future. Since we spend so much time with computers and other devices that stress our necks, it only makes sense that doing neck stretches on a regular basis would be beneficial.
Convenient Neck Stretches
I like convenience and I think most other people do as well. Since most of us develop our neck problems because of long hours sitting in front of the computer, it makes sense to me that if you can stretch while sitting in front of your computer you’ll be more likely to actually do it. Being able to stretch while sitting in front of your computer also provides more opportunities to stretch during the day. These are the most common stretches that I like to give my patients who are complaining of neck pain.
Because all of the big muscles that move and support the neck originate in the upper back, it is important to keep them stretched as well. So let’s start stretching.
In no particular order, the first of the two neck stretches I like to recommend actually targets the upper back – right between the shoulder blades. The stretch that I give for this area is a yoga stretch that is commonly known as “eagle arms”. To do this stretch you have to position your arms in a way that has them flexed 90 degrees at the shoulders and 90 degrees at the elbows. Overlap your arms so that one elbow sits atop the other then cross your hands in a way that allows you to grab the lower hands fingers with the upper hands fingers. With your arms wrapped in this position, slowly raise your arms upward as a unit while gently tucking your chin to your chest. You should feel a nice stretch between your shoulder blades.
The second of the two neck stretches that I like to give my chiropractic patients is the lateral neck stretch. This stretch hits those tight muscles that connect your neck to your shoulders (trapezious muscles). These muscles tend to get tight because of stress. To do this stretch, begin by either sitting on your hand palm up or grasping the under side of your chair with one of your hands. Straighten your posture and lean your body away from the hand that you have anchored. Now tilt your head away from that side and slightly tuck your chin. You should feel a nice stretch down the sides and back of your neck with this stretch.