Between your head and shoulders is your neck. It has way more functions than providing a place for your favourite jewelry, scarf or tie. The neck supports the weight of the head. Here’s some trivia for you – the average adult human head weighs 10 – 11 lbs. That in itself is a huge feat. The neck also protects the nerves that carry sensory and motor information from the brain to the rest of the body.
The neck is highly flexible. It allows the head to turn and flex in all directions. Until it doesn’t. Next time you need to look at something that is not in front of you take notice of whether you turn your body or your head. The results may surprise you – especially if you’re sitting in a swivel chair. While the saying “use it or lose it” applies to this body part as well as all of the others, it doesn’t mean that losing it means never getting it back ever again. Here are activities you can do to regain neck mobility:
- Head Ramping: This movement was reviewed in the T-Spine article. It’s a simple exercise that helps to bring your head into alignment with your neck and shoulders. Start with establishing good posture (back straight, shoulders back) then dropping your chin a little bit and gently slide your head back slightly. Try to incorporate this movement 2 – 3 times daily.
- Neck Rolling Exercise: The first part of this is to go to each position to test out how it feels. Once again start with good posture. Begin with dropping your chin to your chest and then back to neutral (starting position). The second movement is drop your right ear toward your right shoulder and then back to neutral. The third movement is to drop your head back and look up at the ceiling, and then back to neutral. The fourth position is the left ear to left shoulder, and back to neutral. The second part of this exercise is to gently roll your head through these 4 position very slowly. Complete 2 repetitions in one direction, and then 2 the other way. Doing this exercise once daily is amazing.
- Massage: Saved the best for last. Place your fingertips at the base of your skull and slowly massage the soft area just below and to side of that area. As you do this carefully move your head from side to side. This will help you find the spots that need some extra attention.
Doing one or all of these activities on a daily basis will not only improve your neck mobility, but also reduce the potential of neck pain. It’s worth the investment don’t you think?
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