How Should I Stretch My Neck?

When your neck is stiff and tired from working all day or being on the computer all night, what is a good stretch? Your natural tendency is right–your neck needs to be moved and stretched.

Tuck in your chin toward your throat as if you are trying to create a double chin. Hold the position for at least 3-5 seconds. Repeat 5-10x. Do this several times throughout the day, especially when you are sitting at a desk or computer. This is an important stretch because most of us tend to have bad back and neck posture, especially when we are sitting at a computer or desk. Slumped low back posture leads to slumped upper back and neck postures, with the shoulders being rounded and the head too far forward. That is one reason why your neck may hurt at the end of each workday.

In order to prevent neck pain, stiffness and knots, be sure to improve your sitting posture by using a low back support (small pillow, lumbar roll or rolled up towel) in any chair that you are in for an extended period of time. It will be impossible to maintain a good neck position if your low back posture is slouched. Try to modify your sitting posture now because a lifetime of poor posture leads to multiple neck and back problems with increasing age.

Ref: McKenzie, Robin. Treat Your Own Neck. 2011: Orthopedic Physical Therapy Product.

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I am a Physical Therapist and Ergonomics Consultant, based out of Columbia, SC. My passion is to write about and speak about pain/injury prevention. I started Pain Talks as a consulting business in 2018.

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