Two stretches for reducing how long a stiff neck lasts

How Long a Stiff Neck Lasts

Overly stiff neck muscles can be the result of many different issues. A common example is that your neck is twisted into an awkward position while sleeping, and your neck is stiff and sore when you wake up. These types of issues can overstretch or strain a neck muscle. Even a mild strain can often lead to a stiffening of the muscle, but this symptom typically only lasts for about 24 hours in most cases. Fortunately, there are some stretching exercises that can help reduce how long a stiff neck lasts. 

  1. Chin tucks

One exercise that can help decrease how long neck stiffness lasts is chin tucks. This exercise is designed to target the occipital muscles in the neck, and these muscles connect the base of the skull to the upper neck vertebrae. 

To begin the chin tuck exercise, you’ll want to grab a stable chair to sit in. You should then get into the starting position for the exercise, and this will involve you sitting in the chair with your back straight and your head centered over your shoulders. From this starting position, slowly pull your head straight backward until you develop a double chin. You should hold this stretch for five to 10 seconds to get a good stretch in the suboccipital muscles and then you can return to the starting position. Your goal should be to complete three to four repetitions of this exercise per set. You can also do more chin tuck sets at work or while you’re doing errands if your neck stiffness gets worse. 

  1. Neck rotation

Neck rotation is another stretch that can help reduce how long neck stiffness lasts. The exercise is helpful for stretching stiff suboccipital muscles, but it can also help stretch muscles on the side of the neck like the levator scapulae. 

As with the chin tuck, you’ll need a stable chair to sit in for the neck rotation stretch. You’ll also want to sit as upright as possible with your head centered over your shoulders, and this will put you in the starting position for neck rotations. Once you’re in the starting position, slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a stretch on the left side of your neck. You should then hold this stretch for five to 10 seconds. After you’ve stretched for the required amount of time, slowly return your head to the starting position. You can then use the same steps to stretch the opposite side of your neck, and you should continue repeating the steps until you’ve stretched both sides of the neck three times. 

Panther Physical Therapy can help you find other ways to decrease how long neck stiffness lasts

Decreasing how long neck stiffness and pain lasts is one goal that’s common in neck therapy plans at Panther Physical Therapy. We’ll start your therapy by having you come in to one of our three clinics for a complimentary screening, and this screening is intended to help us isolate the source of your symptoms. Our team will then create a personalized physical therapy plan to fit your needs. Your plan may include many beneficial therapy techniques, and some of these could include: 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment to start getting our help with your neck stiffness and pain.