It is not uncommon for joints to feel a bit stiff and restricted when they don’t get as much movement as they should. This feeling of stiffness is made even more common with computer work, televisions and phone/tablet screens. A simple way to counter this is by doing these three very basic neck exercises to encourage movement:
1) Yes’s: Very slowly and gently using your neck, look up as far as comfortable, then equally gently look down as if you are nodding your head, repeat this for about ten reps which should take around 60 seconds.
2) No’s: Similar to yes’s, but focusing on rotation, gently turn your head to the left, then gently to the right as if shaking your head to say no to someone. Repeat for 10 reps slowly.
3) Circles: start by gently looking down, then slowly bring your head to the side as if bringing your right ear to your right shoulder, from there tilt your head back as if looking straight up, next move your head to the left so that your left ear is near you left shoulder, and finally look back down. These movements should take your head through a full circle of motions, do 5-10 reps of these alternating which way the circles go for 1-2 minutes.
These exercises won’t fix neck pain but are a great way to encourage movement and may reduce symptoms that are associated with joint restriction.
Dr Ben Van Der Westhuizen, Osteopath