Neck pain and headaches can be debilitating. Having plenty of neck issues myself; I know and understand first-hand how miserable they can be if you do not catch them in their early stages of development. One of the best ways that I have found to combat stiff necks, neck pain, and even headaches, is by doing stretches. Stretching daily or at least a few times a week can help ward off these pains a great deal.
A sore or stiff neck and headaches can arise upon waking up first thing in the morning, or it can develop during a long work day, especially if you have a desk based job. This is often due to the results of the muscles and joints around the upper neck becoming too tight, putting pressure on the nerves at the top of your spine. This pain shoots up to the eyes and forehead. Instead of reaching for your pain medications, try to do some gentle stretching exercises instead.
Stretching helps keep your flexibility, which is important to preventing discomfort from stiff necks, general neck pains, and headaches. Below are some easy stretches that you can do throughout the day to help prevent neck pain and headaches from occurring.
Some articles that I found in my online searches that list these stretches, as well as some other stretches to try that you might want to check out are the following:
Neck Exercises for Neck Pain
Stretches for Headaches
5 Simple Stretches to Relieve Headaches
Simple Stretches to Relieve and Prevent Tension Headaches
Cheers to a New (and pain free) Year!
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.