Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and my Lord
of the Rings kitty says “hello my precious.” Today I’m going to show you some
stretches in real time for your neck so let’s get started. To start
off we’re just going to get those muscles moving a little bit, warm them up, and
then do the stretches. So to start off with, you’re just going to rotate your head
back and forth, but the thing you want to do is keep your chin up in this neutral
position. So you don’t want to drop it down, you want to keep it up, and then
just rotate to the side. So we’re just going to do five on each side and it can
be kind of a continuous motion, you’re just really kind of loosening
everything up so you’re not stretching those muscles cold because you don’t
really want to stretch muscles cold unless you have to like first thing in
the morning. But other than that you really want to kind of loosen them up a
little bit. So that’s five on each side. Then the next one is going to be a side
bend. So you’re taking your ear down towards your shoulder, but it’s not
bringing your shoulder up, it’s bringing that you’re down. But again
keep that head kind of in that neutral position, and then just go down your
ear towards the shoulder and then alternate back and forth. So again just just do about
five of these, you’re really just kind of loosening everything up. You don’t have to go super slow. You
don’t have to go super fast. You’re just trying to get those muscles kind of
awake and ready to go. A little bit warm so when you’re stretching you can
actually get some benefit from the stretch. And then the last one of the
movement is just going to be an up-and-down. Now with the going back up
this way be a little careful if you have neck issues because sometimes this can
make people feel dizzy. So you know if that makes you feel dizzy going all the
way up just bring it up a little bit. Bring your eyes up, and then bring your
chin towards your chest. So again just about five of these. These kind of
stretches work really well for headaches or if you have some neck spasms, or maybe
if you strain it. A lot of times people wake up with a crick in the neck. Sometimes these really help as well. So
let’s just do one more of each of those. Then the next one to get everything
going before we go into the stretches is the chin tuck. And it’s not chin tuck
going down this way, it’s chin tuck coming in this way. So you can have lots of chin
to make you look like like you got lots of folds in the neck, but that’s kind of
what you want to do. So it’s something you might not want to do
around a whole lot of other people unless you don’t care. But basically what
i like to do to know that you’re doing it correctly, is place your finger on
your chin and then move that chin away. So this time you’re going to hold it for
about three seconds, doesn’t have to be exact and then come back, And then you
can see that I kind of corrected myself. And then you can move it again. Do that
just about three maybe five seconds and then relax. Come back in. Do that again,
little hold. And again this is just kind of putting that spine in neutral
position, getting those muscles where they’re supposed to be, working
everything a little bit. But see how my chin is going straight back, it’s not
coming down and talking in like that it’s just going straight back. Almost like if
I have my hand back there, and I’m trying to push into my hand. Ok now we’re going to go into the
stretches stretches, the best results for stretches is holding it for 30 seconds and
doing three of each of them. So I’m going to use my timer to get the stretches in.
We’re going to start off with just a trap stretch, your upper traps, and what I
like to do with the hand of the side you’re stretching is really just kind of
hang it down. If you have a chair that you can hold on to, hold onto it because
that keeps the shoulder down because if you’re stretching and your shoulder
comes up, you’re not really stretching those upper trap muscles. So what I’m
going to start this and we’re going to get going. Just take the opposite hand and pull
over. So getting a nice stretch in there, nice hold.You want those stretches to be
comfortable. You don’t want pain in there. If you happen to feel little pop, but
it’s not painful, that’s ok that’s just your spine kind of adjusting itself and realigning itself. But if it’s
painful definitely stop. But again this is really good for like those neck
spasms you have. A lot of times tension headaches you just need to get that
stretch in there and that really helps loosen it up. Sometimes you can alternate
sides, I like alternating sides just because you get the other side a little
bit of a break. If you don’t alternate sides, then you want to give yourself
about a 5-10-second break in between. So let’s go ahead and do the
other side. So holding it down onto that chair, and then pulling over to the other
side. Again, try and keep that head in this kind of neutral position. So I’m not
turning down this way, I’m just looking straight ahead and trying to pull that
ear towards the other side. So you should feel that stretch kind of right in
through there. You might see my muscle coming out just a little bit and that
just means that it’s stretching. It should feel good, that good kind of hurt
not that just hurt, hurt. If it’s just a hurt, then it’s probably something that you
really really need to go get checked out. All right and the other side. Nice stretch there, nice and relaxed. And
sometimes if your muscles are really tight and they start to loosen up, you
might be holding here, and then you don’t feel the stretch quite as much anymore
and then just give it a little bit more of a pull until you feel that tension
again. So you don’t have to hold it in that same spot the whole time, you can
push it a little bit, again, if it’s not painful. You know stretching’s
uncomfortable. Maybe hurts a little bit, but it feels good kind of
thing. Remember again if you feel like it’s
something that’s trying to to pop in there, if it’s not painful, that’s ok but
if it hurts. If it’s like “oh that just doesn’t feel right,” definitely stop. Because the neck is
something that you you don’t want to be pulling and tugging on it if there’s
something not good going on in there. This is really just for, you know, muscle
strain, those tension headaches, maybe a spasm in there something like that. Just
to kind of get everything moving there again. Nice hold. Starting to feel those muscles getting
warmed up there. Nice and lose nice and comfortable. Nice deep breath. Alright, let’s go back to the other side. Again
keeping that shoulder down. See if I don’t hold on, it kind of comes up a
little bit. So you really want to kind of hold it down. And then just get that nice
stretch in there. If you have a little bit of a headache, sometimes just taking
some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, gets some
extra oxygen in there, and that helps with the circulation. That sometimes
makes you feel better as well. So just kind of a, and sometimes that helps those
muscles relax just a little bit as well. So the next one is going to be for your
levator scap muscle. And the reason you want to stretch that one out is that
muscle in the back there a lot of times you’re like “oh that hurts right there,” that’s
that’s where that levator scap muscle is. It comes up, and if you have a lot of
tension, a lot of times people hold their tension like this. And that’s putting a
lot of stress on that muscle, so if you stretch it out, a lot of times you can
get that tension out of there. This one’s kind of a weird position. If you
have shoulder if issues, you might have to modify a little bit, but the side you
want to stretch, you’re going to bring that hand up this way. Almost where your elbow’s trying to go up
towards the ceiling. It doesn’t have to go all the way up, it can be about here,
but that’s the goal is to try and get it up. And then take the other hand, put it
behind your head and go out at an angle. So it’s almost like you’re trying to
take your head over towards your opposite knee. So it’s kind of at that
angle. So it’s going to be this motion. Get that started, have to reset it first.
And then we can go. So behind my head and pulling over. So again it’s going to be more at an
angle now and that’s kind of getting that levator scapulae muscle. And and
that one is as a big cause of tension, lot of pain, and it’s connected to the
scapula and that has over 20 muscle attachments to it so anytime one of
those muscles, or several of those muscles, aren’t working correctly, it can
cause a whole lot of problems in the neck, upper back, and shoulder areas. So this is
definitely something you really want to stretch. Now we’re going
to switch sides. Up this way and then pulling a cross. S o again I’m almost
looking at that opposite knee. It’s not over here, it’s not straight down, it’s kind of an angle. You’re going to
feel it in that area right through there. And again you want to be that comfortable.
You don’t want to be painful. Just a nice tension, nice stretch in there. The great thing about these, is you can
easily do them at your desk. If you’re working a lot, a lot of times people tend
to kind of get their head going forward, leaning in towards the computer, and then
you’re so busy what you’re doing on the computer that
two hours later you look up and you have a lot of neck pain and upper back pain
because you’ve been a terrible position the whole time. So just doing some of
these stretches while you’re sitting there even, if you’re at work is pretty
easy to do without having to get on the ground or get any kind of equipment or
anything like that. And back again. Try and keep your back pretty upright as
well don’t kind of pull it forward, that takes away from that stretch a little
bit. If you do some that’s okay, sometimes if you’re stretching and
nobody’s watching, you’re not quite sure, but just kind of push back into the
chair every once in a while to make sure that you’re sitting fairly upright and
so then end up making your back sore as well. Nice big stretch. Make sure that you have some deodorant
on because you’re right there in that armpit. Then you then you can do the
sniff check without being obvious. You’re like “no I’m just doing some stretches
right now.” Luckily my Lord of the Ring Kitty’s got
me covered. Smelling good. Alright and now for the last one on this
side. Up and hold. Stretch on this side, nice and relaxed.
And again if you feel like it’s hurting, a lot of times the reason you don’t
want to stretch if you’re having a lot of pain is because your muscles go into
what we call muscle guarding. And you can try push on and push on it, but if
they’re guarding, they’re actually just pulling back. And so that extra pain lots
of times is counter beneficial of the stretching. So those were your
stretches for your neck to make sure that you loosen everything up, if you
have tension headaches, muscle spasms, just maybe a straight in your neck, or
maybe even you wake up in the morning you got that crick in your neck, that you
don’t remember doing anything to it maybe just slept on it wrong. If you have any questions leave them in the comments
section. If you’d like to check out some other videos go to AskDoctorJo.com And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

63 thoughts on “Real Time Neck Pain Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. My neck cracks and feels like it's 'catching' if I don't turn it to one side all day long. I had a physiotherapist check my neck for range of motion and she said it was normal. My doctor wants me to get an MRI but I have a lot of anxiety about the noise of the machine effecting my hearing even with double hearing protection. My logic is that the MRI will likely just show some mild bone spurs or degeneration that the doctor won't be able to do anything about anyway. Do you think I should avoid the test due to my anxiety, or do it for peace of mind? Thanks!

  2. Thanks Dr Jo, this was very helpful for desk bound people like myself. And this real time routine is way easier to follow through compared to non full demonstrations. Reason being that it is disruptive to pause and do the sets and play video again for next exercise I've even tried taking down notes to avoid the pause/play problem, but some exercise are difficult to put into words. Love it !

  3. Hello Doctor…..my mom was diagnosed with problem of cervical herniated disc . It was pain and all and when she tried to sleep on left side. She used to get vertigo feeling. It has been a year and half now…Pain and stiffness is gone. But still that vertigo feeling remains when she tries to sleep on left side. What could be this and what should she do now? Thanks

  4. Thank you for your videos.
    I learn something new every time..

    Q1 :
    Does it help if I have had a whiplash,
    but with no visible signs from a MR scan ?
    How do you stretch a tight QL muscle ?

  5. Hi Dr. Jo, I was diagnosed with a small intermediate grade medial tibial plateau cartilage flap, intermediate to high-grade lateral patellar facet cartilage fissuring, but no associated osseous edema. I also have an increased signal within the quadriceps fat pad, raising the possibility of impingement syndrome. They sent me to a therapist but those are extremely expensive, is there by any chance the possibility that you can make a therapy video for this? Thank you!( These aren't my words, these are the results of the MRI. )

  6. Hi Dr. Jo, I appreciate all that you do! Whenever I have a glitch I tune in and you usually have it covered!

    All the best to you!

  7. This helped, a lot! I tend to hold a lot of tension in my neck (likely due to my strength training). Furthermore, this tension can be very distracting at times, especially in public. I just started looking for self-techniques and found you! Again, this helped a lot.

  8. What if you can't make one side of the neck move much at all toward the shoulder ? Should you use the other hand to pull it down?

  9. Hi Dr Jo.I have DDD and Fibromyalgia.My back pain used to be mainly in my lower spine ,but in the last year or so ,I`ve been getting nasty ,searing/burning type pain ,where I just can`t seem to do anything to relieve it.
    I have tried these stretches before ,and always do so before getting up ,as mornings tend to be when I`m most seized up.
    I`m constantly tired and just wondering if you have any further advice.Many thanks!

  10. Dear dr. thanks for the video. if i have side neck pain and occipetal headache due to posture , after rest and stretching i feel relived but its returning back again and again everyday. so shud i see a chiropractor or physiotherapist dr. for it .

  11. instant relief!! thank you. felt so good, I had a lot of tension in my neck and shoulder area from holding my two month old

  12. Thank you. I've had intense pain in the neck from sleeping on floors and couches for a couple days. This routine provided some much needed relief. You're doing a very great thing with these videos, dr.

  13. Brilliant video! Thank you for doing these in real-time.  I did them with you just now and it makes such a difference to hear you talk as I am doing them. It is so reassuring. I liked the gentle turns of the head to loosen up before the stretches. I used to struggle with neck stretches because I was so stiff. It never occurred to me to do gentle turns to loosen up before the stretches. Now that I've found your channel, I am checking out all your videos!

  14. Hey Jo, I really like your videos. I wonder if you can suggest some stretches for a trapped nerve in my neck or shoulder, i have pain shooting down my arm and in to the back of the hand, more so when i'm laying on my back?

  15. omg I had a terrible pain because a boy at school bullying me sat on my head and this helped me feel better I really thank you

  16. This is really helping me hang in there with neck ans shoulder strain while I'm waiting for my chiropractic appointment. Thanks for helping people like me feel less helpless!

  17. Doctor I have done this exercise but nothing improved at all my left side neck is swelling & contract my back side part of neck most of the time get cracked I have alot of pain at neck I am not able to do anything when I have neck pain my Mri report came normal I used medicine amcobal 1500 mcg what type of medicine is that would you tell me the solution of this problem

  18. Im 26 years old girl I have pain in the right side of my body my back my chest my ribs when I went to the doctor she said your right muscles is weaker than the left side and I have arthritis in my back so I start going to the gym since 6 month my doctor recommend this for me but I have the pains do you think I should see other doctor or do you have anything to stop the pain

  19. This saved me from a trip to the doctors. I felt my traps warm up afterwards but the pain quickly disappeared. Thanks a million.

  20. As an Aussie with osteo arthritis, getting pain pills thrown at me, these stretches have helped a lot. Thankyou

  21. Hey Doc, it’s me again. I forgot to ask you this question in one of your other neck related videos.

    In your experience, have you ever seen anyone suffering from ‘mild’ bulging discs on the cervical that have been healed naturally? As in the discs have gone back into its right place and no longer causing pain?

  22. wow, i wish i found this video ages ago! Thank you so much. I don't feel no neck pain anymore! you're the best Dr 🙂

  23. Thanks Doctor Jo. The neck and shoulder stretches for me are the most relaxing. And I usually get a better nights sleep 😴 Your Midwest fan club is growing!! 🙂

  24. thank you! I have bad migraines and my doctor prescribed me some topical stuff to put on my neck and shoulders that i'm supposed to also do with stretches, but somehow or another we never end up actually receiving the sheet with the printed out stretch instructions on them, so im glad to have something real time i can follow along with to stretch until i get the papers. :>

  25. Where did you get that awesome shirt? This is one of my favorite videos, as I laugh every time you describe your shirt in the intro.

  26. I REALLY appreciate the real time stretches because I'm more likely to perform the exercises if I'm following your lead. Love the tips on form too. Thanks.

  27. Thanks Dr. Jo nice having someone else work the time clock ! Seems minimal but it really does make it easier to get the reps without the other issues that make things a lil harder at times. Dealing with the pain is enough I don’t need clock-time issues as well.

  28. Hi Dr.Jo, Awesome stretching routine but my question is about "Muscle guarding". You mentioned it close to the end. how do you release muscle guarding because i believe my left side is going through that issue. I did bust my rotator cuff/shoulder playing hockey over a decade ago and im wondering if i can get around that.

  29. I love your videos Dr Jo. I'm so happy that I have an awesome PT like you helping me with my knee, her name is Jenna Banks!

  30. I suffer from chronic neck pain due to many years of bad posture. How many times a day do you recommend to do the stretches. Thanks a lot for this and all your videos. I've learned a lot from you.

  31. Bless you Dr. Jo! I was in a near fatal accident 40 years ago where I went part way through a windshield. (Seatbelt use wasn’t standard back in those days.) I won’t go into a lot of detail about the terrible service I received at a tiny hospital in the middle of nowhere. They slapped a cervical collar on me “in case something might be wrong” and no other doctor deigned to look at my neck or shoulders. Nine years ago I finally found out that I’d fractured two vertebrae plus my neck muscles and trapezius muscles had been badly torn at the time of the accident. The PT I was sent to aggravated the situation rather than helped it. Your neck video is the best thing I’ve found to alleviate pain and stiffness. Thanks ever so much!

  32. Dr Jo, I had cervical spine surgery approx 15 yrs ago for a bone spur. I have not been the same since. I have horrible headaches aches in my neck back and shoulders every day, specially upon waking and the only thing that works is Excedrin. I hate having to take this because I know it has many side effects. No Dr can tell me why it is so bad. I do think it is from tightness in my neck & shoulder area. Would all of these stretches be ok since I had cervical spine surgery? Are there others that might benefit me as well?

  33. Hi! Great video, really help me . Can you do another video of exercises for people who stand long time in front a desktop, to prevent pain on back and neck ?

  34. Dr. Jo I have a disk protrusion of cervical 3 and 4 in my neck. Was wondering if you thought these would be safe to do! I need some relief I don’t start physical therapy till next week!

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