The upper portion of your spinal column -- the vertebrae in your neck -- form a natural curve called the cervical curve. If you experience pain in your neck along with headaches regularly, this could indicate that you have an injury to your cervical curve. Damage to this area of your spine could cause the curve to straighten. Exercises may alleviate neck pain or help reestablish the natural curve in your neck. However, before attempting any neck exercises, talk to your physician about your symptoms and possible treatment.
Towel Roll Stretch
Lie on a rolled-up towel to help regain your cervical curve. Fold a bath towel longways, then roll it up end to end. Lie on a flat surface with the towel under your neck. Keep the back of your head and shoulders in contact with the surface you are lying on. If they are not, readjust the towel. For the first two weeks of this home treatment, lie on the towel for only 10 minutes at a time. After that, you may lie on the towel for up to 15 minutes at a time.
Chin lifts may help with neck pain from a misshapen cervical curve. The simplicity of this move allows you to perform this exercise anywhere. Sit in a chair with your back straight, shoulders loose and arms at your side. Slowly lift your chin and tilt your head backward. Continue lifting your chin until your face points toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for five to 10 seconds before slowly returning to the original position.
Several yoga poses offer relief from neck and joint pain, while strengthening muscles in your neck. Practice the pose called Bhujangasana, in which your body forms a snake-like position. Lie on your abdomen on the floor or on a yoga mat with the tops of your legs flat on the floor. Lift your upper body and support this weight with your hands, palms flat on the floor and elbows bent slightly. Pull your shoulders toward the floor and tilt your head toward your back and lift your chin. Hold this pose for five seconds before releasing.
Something to Consider
While many neck exercises are beneficial for strengthening the muscles of the neck and easing pain, do not perform these exercises until you have permission from your health-care provider. Neck pain may indicate severe health conditions, and any symptoms of pain in your neck or spine should be communicated with your physician.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.