Neck Pain Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. I’ve got another
helper with me today. This is Molly, she’ll be observing and making sure I do everything
correctly with good technique. So what we’re going to be talking about today is our neck
stretches. Now the neck can be very tricky and it can have serious, serious injuries
to it, so it’s key to go to your doctor or your physical therapist and get a correct
diagnosis and get imaging that you need. So this is really just some gentle stretches
to get you going if your neck is just stiff or maybe you slept on it wrong. So the first
thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna start off with some gentle stretches, not even using
your hands but just with your neck. So the first thing I’m gonna have you to do start
off is just bring your chin down to your chest. And then hold it just for about 5-10 seconds
and then look back up towards the ceiling. Same thing for just about 5-10 seconds. Now
you want to make sure you’re staying in a plane front to back, that you’re not turning
your head. This is really in a straight plane. Bringing that chin down to your chest and
then bringing it back. Good. Now then the next one what you want to do is you want to
take your ear to the side. Now this is another key, you just wanna gently bring it to the
side. You don’t want to bring your shoulder up, your not actually touching your shoulder
to your ear, your shoulder is staying in one spot. You’re just bringing it over, same thing
now, it’s in a plane this way. So you wanna keep it in that plane you’re gonna stretch
about 5-10 seconds, and then your gonna come back the other way. Stretch 5-10 seconds.
Good. So you’re gonna do that about 3-5 times in each direction, good. And once that gets
a little bit loosened up, now what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna rotate a little bit.
So you’re just now gonna turn, almost like you’re looking over your shoulder. Same thing
about 5-10 seconds and then turn back the other way. Very good and then stretching it
out. So those are just starting off with some simple stretches without doing anything except
moving your head and getting those stretches in there. Front to back, side to side, turn
to turn, Molly’s embarrassing me, but that’s ok. So the next thing that we’re gonna do
is we’re going to add some overpressure. Basically what overpressure is is you just use your
hand to give you a little more pressure added to the stretch. So these stretches are actually
going to be our traditional 30 second stretches, 3 times on each side. Now the key is for this
one is you’re gonna hold your hand underneath your leg. Now the key for this is it’s gonna
keep your shoulder flat and it’s gonna pull down a little bit. so you’re already getting
a little bit of a stretch. What you’re gonna do now is your just gonna bring your hand
on the top of your head, not on the top of your head right here, but on the top towards
the opposite way and your just gonna pull over to the side. Straight over. You want
it to go in that plane, you’re trying to take that ear to the opposite shoulder. And you’re
just gonna take some deep breaths, breathe in and out, might fall asleep. And those 30
seconds, 3 times each on both sides. Make sure you’re doing both sides so you keep everything
even. Alright, so then last one that I’m gonna show you is our levator scapulae stretch,
and that’s the muscle that pulls your shoulder blades up, that scapulae up. The key for that
one is lot’s of times people get hunched over a lot, they’re typing on the computer, and
those muscles get really tight. ANd when those muscles get tight, people tend to get tension
headaches. So a really good way to stretch that out is your gonna take the arm same side
that it’s hurting, and your gonna put it up on your shoulder if you can. And then what
you’re gonna do is you’re gonna take your other hand and put it kind of on the back
of your head. And you’re gonna pull it towards your opposite knee. So you’re not pulling
it straight down, your not pulling it to towards the side, but towards your opposite knee.
Almost like a 45 degree angle. So your gonna hold it up as high as you can, and you’re
gonna pull your head down. A nice stretch, remember those stretches don’t want to be
painful, you don’t want to feel any pain in your neck, but you wanna feel a nice stretch
in there. 30 seconds, 3 times each. Make sure you do both sides, you want to get everything
stretched out. And that’s just the simple stretches for your neck. Just to get everything
loosened up. And remember, you can trust me, I’m a doctor.

39 Replies to “Neck Pain Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. I have a mild disc protrusion on c5-c6 and c6-c7..its hurting..I'm 22 yr old.. will by doing exercise it will go away?.. thank you😊

  2. I DO A LOT OF SPORTS TIME ALL MY LIFE,NEVER GOT TROUBLE WITH MY NECK,BUT i`dont know it crack only when I`m washing my hear only,position down and moving the head by side,why? help.thanks.

  3. this is magic.. i just tried while watching the vid and already feeling relieved.. subscribed! you rock doc.

  4. Hello again doctor. I find that if I do the exercise of moving my neck in the direction of my right shoulder, as I move my head back to centre position, the pain in my left shoulder flares up briefly. Hmm, maybe i should try out some shoulder exercises, before the neck.

  5. This kinda eased up my neck n back a tiny bit before going to bed ty I greatly appreciate this it was somewhat effective sadly the back of my neck is hurting me though. T.T

  6. Dr. I just developed what seems to be stenosis . I just started watching your videos (by my sons recommendation) and I think has been helpful to do the strech exercises. My question is: do you think it would be helpful to wear a neck collar (brace) for my problem?

  7. Madam, i am feeling better according to ur instructions.
    Could u plz tell me how many times should I do this exercise everyday?

  8. I had very bad headache today and it's because I haven't stretching my neck for a while, so I came in your channel and this video helped me out of my neck pain. Thank you for giving some tips!

  9. Buy a printable worksheet with the Neck Pain Stretches & Exercises in this video here: https://www.askdoctorjo.com/purchase-neck-stretches-exercises-worksheet

  10. I've been in physical therapy a lot from a car wreck and did the same exercises and they did help a little but I still had to have surgery on my C5, C6, and C7 I now have a donor bone in C5, and C6 and rods from C5, to C7. It has been a long 4 years and now I'm having a lot of pain again.

  11. Tried these and they are awesome, I have pain in my cervical area but not sure if it's the spine or not but to me it seems more like soft tissue and it's become a chronic thing and one thing I know for sure is that I need a new bed and when I turn my head left or right I have tightness and slight pain and when I did these as you suggested I can feel popping and grinding sensation but it's not painful and feels better after popping but these definitely loosens the muscles. If I do these daily will the tightness and slight pain eventually go away. The tightness and slight pain does not hinder me from my other daily activities but just annoying. Your awesome I just subbed.

  12. Thanks! I have suffered neck pain, in stressful times, since middle school and now in my late 50's. When stressed, I subconsciously hunch up my shoulders. Then my neck muscles get very tight. If I turn my head too quickly, I feel a pain, like an electrical shock, shoot up from my neck to the base of my skull. Your stretches felt very good. I hope these stretches can help me cope with my pain of stress from work.

  13. omg thank you so much for this video i work at an office, 8 hours sitting down in front of a computer and today my neck was hurting so bad , did your stretches and they WORKED especially the last one because thats the part that was hurting the most. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS VIDEO

  14. i pulled a muscle during pullups was trying to stretch it it didnt help never would have guessed that the no pressure stretches just moving head without pulling would work so fast

  15. Thank you for this excellent instructional video. I have had a terrible neck pain for days and the last exercise is really a champion.

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