Back and neck pain can range from very mild to completely debilitating and can seriously interfere with your quality of life if not treated.
How Can I Treat Neck and Back Pain?
There are many ways to treat back and neck pain, including hot and cold compresses, certain anti-inflammatory medicines, acupuncture and osteopathic manipulation.
Luckily, the most common (and cheapest) treatment for neck and back pain is regular exercise! Following simple routines on a regular basis can increase muscular strength and improve range of motion, mobility and flexibility.
Regular exercise such as stretching and flexing provides real and lasting benefits to your physical and mental health, helping you to feel energised, youthful and pain free!
Why is it Important to Stretch My Muscles?
Stretching is essential for releasing muscular tension, relieving pain and increasing flexibility.
Lengthening our muscles by stretching them slowly allows a wider range of movement, increased blood flow and improves posture, balance and strength.
You will find yourself much less sore after workouts, and daily tasks such as carrying heavy shopping, cleaning or gardening become much easier.
For more information about the importance of flexibility read our blog!
6 Easy Back and Neck Exercises to Relieve Tension
The following exercises are very easy to incorporate into your daily routine and require little or no equipment! They can also be adjusted to increase intensity - why not try an extra 2 repetitions, or hold the stretches for an extra 5 seconds?
- Stand tall with feet shoulder width apart, arms down by your sides. Focus on lengthening your neck.
- Rotate your shoulders forwards in circles slowly. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Repeat in the opposite direction.
- Sitting upright or standing tall, look straight ahead and hold your right shoulder down with your left hand.
- Gently tilt your head to the left to feel a stretch in your neck.
- Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Prone Cobra Stretch
- Lie face down on the floor with a towel/blanket folded under your forehead.
- Place your arms at right angles with your palms on the floor in line with your head.
- Pinch your shoulder blades together so that your hands lift off the floor.
- Lift your forehead an inch from the towel and hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times.
Overhead Arm Reach
- Whilst sitting or standing, stretch your arms above your head with your fingers interlocked and elbows straight.
- Gently tilt your upper body to the right to feel a stretch down the left side of your body. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 3-5 times on each side.
- Sit sideways in a chair with your left side resting against the back of the chair.
- Hold the back of your chair with both hands. Keep your legs still as you rotate your upper body to the left.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds. Use your hands to make the stretch gradually deeper.
- Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 3 times on both sides.
- Start on all fours. Keep your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Inhale and drop your belly towards the floor. Raise your chin and look up. Open up your chest and pelvis. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Exhale and curl your pelvis under, arch your mid back like a cat and let your head hang down to relax your neck. Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat this process 5 times.
Can Taking Collagen Relieve Neck and Back Pain?
The synthesis of collagen is fundamental in keeping your joints healthy and pain free, especially your neck and your spine!
A scientific study conducted by Lian et al. in 2017 examined the effects of boosting collagen levels in the spine with the aim of preventing lower back pain. Their findings showed that collagen can help to prevent the debilitating ailment Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and prevent pain!
Collagen is a naturally occurring essential protein which provides structural support to your body tissues.
What Age Do You Start Losing Collagen?
As you age, collagen levels decline which adversely affects skin, hair, nails and joints - that’s why it’s so important to keep your body nourished and revitalised by boosting your collagen intake with Reverse Life Marine Collagen Supplement! We start losing collagen in our 20s so it’s never too early or too late to start taking supplements to boost collagen and elastin.
This blog post was guest written by Holly Everett. Holly holds a BSc in Exercise and Sport Science along with an MA in Exercise and Sport Science: Coaching Studies. Look out for more great exercise and mobility tips from Holly coming to the Reverse Life blog.