Let’s be honest, having pain in your neck is, well…a real pain in the neck. Neck pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp pain that sidelines your daily life.
Maybe you slept in a funny position last night or spent too much time hunching over your computer or maybe you are dealing with a large amount of stress. There are many causes of neck pain (and thankfully many treatments) as well. Just remember, discomfort and stiffness can lead to long-term issues if not treated.
For many people, neck stretches such as neck rolls can help reduce pain and increase movement. But doing them properly is key!
How to do a Neck Roll
Neck rolls are an easy way to reduce your pain and increase your range of motion. Steps for completing a proper neck roll are shown and explained below:
- Start with your head down.
- Roll around to the right.
- Roll around to the back.
- Roll around to the left.
- Roll back down to the front.
- Repeat 3 times (to the right).
- Then complete one set of 3 neck rolls to the left.
Benefits of Increasing Your Range of Motion in Your Neck
Stretches such as neck rolls improve your range of motion. Improving the range of motion in your neck is important because it can help prevent pain from poor posture, lowering your head to view your phone or computer screen, or sleeping in a funny position.
When you increase your range of motion you are building up the muscles in your neck. This allows your neck to easily support your head and prevent pain.
The Dangers of Improper Form
Neck rolls can greatly reduce pain and improve your range of motion. However, if done improperly they can cause injury.
When doing a neck roll exercise, it is very important to remember the following:
- Keep the range of motion small
- You can modify each repetition to meet your level of comfort/discomfort
- Do not speed through the exercise
- Keep your movements fluid and smooth
- Do not overextend your head
If you overextend your neck muscles you can strain them, causing damage and pain. Neck rolls put your neck in extreme positions in a matter of minutes. That is why it is important to keep the motion small and to go slow. Racing through stretches of any kind will result in injury.
Learning to do neck rolls properly can greatly reduce the tension and pain you feel in your neck. They can also help prevent future pain by increasing muscle strength and range of motion of your neck. Just remember to make the movements smooth and slow.
Remember, any pain that lasts longer than 1 week or occurs frequently without a related injury should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing this prolonged pain schedule an appointment now.