Spin. Sit at desk. Do some yoga. Sleep. Sound a bit like your life?
These everyday activities are great for your health but could quickly become, well, a pain in the neck. “When this area is under abnormal stress, the muscles and soft tissue tighten up to protect you. But if they tighten up too much, they pinch the nerve endings, which causes pain and stiffness,” says FITNESS advisory board member Marty Jaramillo, a founder and CEO of I.C.E. Sports Therapy in New York City. Try his neck stretches and tips to banish pesky neck pain for good.
While seated, turn your head slightly to the left and look down toward your left knee. With your left hand, gently pull your head in the same direction until you feel a stretch in the upper right trap (the muscle on the right side of the back of your neck). Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times on both sides.