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What Do You Do if You Wake up with Neck Pain?

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a crick in your neck? You try to look over your shoulder and you get severe pain or you just can't move your head in that direction? I know it seems to happen to me every once in a while. It's one of the worst feelings. It can feel normal and then you quickly turn when someone calls your name and you almost fall on the floor because the quick movement hurts so bad. It also makes it difficult to see when you're driving and you try to change lanes.

The pain from having a "crick" in your neck may be caused by sleeping wrong, an old pillow or mattress, an injury that happened the day before, or it may be caused by poor posture and weak shoulder, upper back, and neck muscles. It's important to work on strength and mobility in the shoulders, neck, and upper back (thoracic spine) to prevent and treat neck pain.

Here are 4 of my favorite exercises that you can do if this ever happens to you. These are also great if you just happen to have any neck pain or stiffness. These exercises will help loosen up the muscles in and around your neck. They will also work on building strength in the muscles in and around your neck.

Exercise #1: Upper Trap Stretch

Place one hand on the top of your head and pull your head to the side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise #2: Levator Scapulae Stretch

Place one hand on your head. Pull your head down and to the side (look towards your armpit). Hold 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise #3: Chin Tuck

Look straight ahead and pull your head straight back, attempting to make a double chin. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times.

Exercise #4: Banded Bilateral External Rotation

Hold a long resistance band in each hand. Keeping your elbows glued to your sides, pull your hands apart as far as you can. Then slowly bring your hands back together. Make sure to sit with good posture.

All of these exercises are a great starting point for getting rid of neck pain! These will help improve strength and mobility and will help you feel better fast!

If you want more exercises to improve any aches and pains you may have, follow me HERE, and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Always feel free to reach out with any questions or sign up for a consultation call with me HERE.

Dr. Stephanie

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