As a long term sufferer of neck pain I know that these Tai Chi type exercises can really help.
When life has become a real pain in the neck or you have simply slept the wrong way there is something that you can do before you reach for the pain killers or even afterwards before they have worked. This method is free natural and should go at least part way to relieving your plight.
An indirect approach.
When you can hardly move your neck due to pain and stiffness the last thing that you want to do is exercises that directly work on the neck, which is a delicate area to exercise at the best of times. However gentle slow exercises that work on the neck indirectly can give some relief and often in just a few minutes. Keep any of these exercises slow smooth and gentle, all of the exercises should be done as small circles.
Rolling the hips.
Rolling the hips is an indirect way to get some movement going in your body when it is locked up due to neck pain. The hips are a large strong part of the body unlike your small delicate and at that moment painful neck. The hips are a relatively long way from the neck so even with only a little practice but a lot of care you should be able to slowly rotate them without having to move the neck or hardly at all.
For this exercise cast your mind back to the school playground and the girls spinning hoola hoops on there hips, now divide the speed and size of their movement by ten!
As your hips are at one end of the spine and your neck is the other slow controlled circles with the hips can help to gently start to free up the neck. Try no more than five rotations and then rotate the other way, feel how you are doing before deciding to do more.
Shaking the hands.
Again because the hands are along way from the neck you can get away with moving them and not jarring the neck. What we want to do is create gentle rhythmic movements that cause a sensation in the neck that feels like a gentle vibration. Hold your hands in front of you or at your sides and imagine that you have wet hands and no towel and shake your hands trying not to move the rest of your body.
Do this gently so that if your hands really were wet it would not get them dry! Do this for no more than thirty seconds, you should be able to feel if it is starting to help.
Rolling the shoulders.
This exercise is best done after the first two as the shoulders are in close proximity to the neck, only do this one if the first two have to some extent given you some extra movement back to your neck. Very slowly rotate the shoulders one at a time, place the opposite hand near the shoulder to help control the movement and help to isolate the rolling shoulder from the neck. Try no more than three rotations on each side to start with and see how you get on.
Breath deeply and calmly from your lower tummy.
When we are in pain we often tense up without even noticing. Tension in the body especially a sort of holding or locking up of the part that hurts only makes things worse. In the medical profession they call this habit of the body to tense an area in pain guarding. By breathing deeply calmly and in a relaxed manner we can start to disparate some of the tension held in the body. Focus your mind as much as you can just on following the breathing as you breath in and out. When distracting thoughts come along just bring your attention back to following your breath in and out. This breathing exercise can help with many things so it’s a good one to know. Like everything you will only get the hang of it with some regular practice but once you have got the hang of it this breathing exercise is a great tool.
I would recommend doing this breathing exercise in between each of the other exercises even if only for half a minute. By repeating the breathing exercise briefly in between the others you will be relaxing and slowing down the pace that you are going at, remember that you can go too fast but never too slowly with these in fact the slower the better.
It’s your body
If you suffer from neck pain from time to time you may find yourself doing these exercises quite often. These exercises are some good basics there are others which could well be worth doing as extras. It’s easy to depend completely on pills but it feels good to be able to help yourself, it’s your body and it’s up to you how you look after it. I have found these exercises to be helpful on many occasions and they can work for you to.
Prevention is better than cure.
Most of us in this modern world watch a screen for too many hours a week and sit driving for many hours as well. These exercises can be done daily as part of a general exercise program which could well reduce the occurrences of a stiff neck. Like anything what you choose to put in will govern what you will get out of these exercises, I hope that you give them a go because they do work.