Nice Neck Stretch
- Put one hand behind you, as if in an opposite back pocket (photo at right).
- Slide the other hand down your leg toward your knee. Breathe. Don't go so far, or strain so that it hurts.
- Tilt your head toward your shoulder, gently stretching the entire side of your neck and body. Don't go so far, or strain so that it hurts.
- For best stretch to the side of the neck, look forward, rather than up or down.
- Don't lean your head or body forward or you will lose the stretch. Stand straight.
- Hold for a few seconds.
- Change sides and repeat on the other side. Smile. Keep breathing.
To tell if you are standing straight, stretch with your back against a wall. Keep the back of your head against the wall for the entire stretch. If it is not comfortable to stand against a wall with your shoulders, backside, and the back of your head all touching at once, do the pectoral stretch in Fixing Upper Back and Neck Pain. Check for the upper body tightness that makes it uncomfortable to stand straight - Thumbs Can Show Tightness That Leads to Upper Back Pain. If it hurts, it's not right.
- Use this stretch, called the trapezius stretch, with the pectoral stretch and the Better Shoulder and Triceps Stretch to restore healthy positioning to the upper body.
- Rounded upper body position while lifting contributes to shoulder trouble, explained in Upper Back Exercise and Neck Pain Prevention Too. With good positioning, you can lift more and avoid injury.
- More good, quick stretches in the book Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier.
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