Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders , between 30% – 50% of people will suffer one or more episodes of neck pain during their life. With only a small percentage needing serious treatments in some cases stretches and exercise may actually help with the pain. Below are 3 sports that will help with neck pain.
Jogging for Neck Pain
When we refer to jogging we refer to long distance running and NOT sprinting, this should be a relaxed form of exercise to allow the muscles in the body to loosen up and relax as well as blood circulating and warming the muscles up, which relieves tension.
How to Jog to Relieve Neck Pain
- Find a time of day that’s best for you. Give yourself plenty of time to avoid rushing and avoid any additional stress
- Start off with a slow paced jog and don’t push yourself too hard. Run a distance that you have the stamina for and can do comfortably. This may help with your neck pain.
- Know your tension spots, and check to make sure you’re not clenching when you should be relaxed. Common tension spots are your jaw or hands.
- If you find yourself tense, take a deep breath and shake out your arms.
- When it comes to breath, you want to breathe deeply from your belly and not your chest. Breathe in a consistent rhythm rather than sporadically to enjoy your run.
Top tip – Listening to music while running can also help to reduce internal stress and may prevent tension and the risk of neck pain.
Pilates and Yoga for Neck Pain
Practising yoga or Pilates is an excellent way to get rid of neck pain. Through the stretches and holds, you can learn to release any tension you’re holding in your body. The poses are designed to treat a specific ailment, so it’s important to try taking a few classes at a studio or online class. This helps to make sure you are holding the poses correctly and not causing any more damage, as well as helping you get into a routine of following a class.
Remember that these sports are here to remove tension from your body so only go to your edge and don’t force yourself into any position, and remember that your body changes from day to day so make adjustments to your practice as necessary and avoid poses that cause pain or discomfort.
A huge part of yoga is breathing so allowing your breath to guide each movement so that each pose is fluid.
Below is a pose we recommend to relieve pain and tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. It’s called the triangle pose.
How to do the Triangle Pose
- Make sure your feet are apart. They should be placed wider than your hips.
- Turn your right toes forward and your left toes out at an angle.
- Bring your arms up so they’re parallel to the floor making sure your palms are facing down.
- Reach forward with your right arm as you hinge at your right hip.
- From this position, lower your right arm and lift your left arm up toward the ceiling.
- Turn your gaze up to your left arm up to the ceiling
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
- Finally, switch sides.
Swimming for Neck Pain
Swimming is a great form of exercise if you suffer from pain in your neck. Swimming strengthens the supporting neck muscles and that should alleviate sore, stiff necks. Whether you do slow strokes, move around with a flotation device, tread water, or do water aerobics, it will all be beneficial by building muscle strength, improving flexibility, and improving posture.
Typically, people start slowly with swimming, find that they really enjoy it, and progress up to higher levels of activity. This makes swimming an all-around great option for many people who suffer from chronic pain. Just make sure to keep it slow and steady and at your own pace to avoid pushing yourself too much in the water as this could actually create more tension in your neck.
When to See a Doctor
If you’ve taken steps to relieve neck pain and it’s not getting better, or if your pain becomes damaging to your day to day life, you need to see your doctor.
These sports should help against neck pain, however prevention plays an overriding role. Doing sports is generally good, but you will only change things permanently if you are active on a regular basis. This will help eliminate problems with pain in your neck but keep you active in the process.