The Best Three Stretches for Neck Pain & Headaches

Poor posture, slouching, and a forward head position can cause headaches, neck pain, and back pain. For every inch the head leans forward, the weight biomechanically doubles! Neck and back muscles have to work exponentially harder to hold your head up. The rib cage gets compressed and breathing becomes shallow, resulting in less oxygen to the entire body.

A forward head posture pinches spinal nerves and tractions the spinal cord, resulting in a number of health problems. Here are three easy stretches to combat forward head position and poor posture. All of these stretches can be done sitting, but standing is preferred.
  1. Lock your fingers together and put your hands on the back of your head. Lightly push the back of your head into your hands. Hold for one slow, deep breath, then release.

    Feel your head move backward against the light resistance from your hands. Make sure not to look up. You want your head to gently move backwards and not into extension.

    Repeat 3-5 times, several times a day as needed.

  2. Again, lock your fingers together, but this time behind your lower back with your palms facing up. Make sure to relax your back and don't lean forward.

    Breathe deep and slowly bring your hands toward the ceiling, raising your interlocked hands until you feel a stretch in your shoulders and upper back. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths. Repeat as needed.

    This will stretch your shoulders, relax the chest, and loosen the neck muscles.

  3. Put both hands behind your back and grab your left wrist with your right hand. Using your right hand, slowly and gently pull down on your left arm.

    Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Don't let your head flex forward and don't rotate your head either.

    This will stretch the left neck and shoulder. Take 5 deep breaths during the stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.
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