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Even though a stiff neck is typically cause by a relatively minor injury. Such as a muscle strain or ligament sprain, the painful flare-ups can be quite sharp or burning. It is good to minimize painful movements and give a stiff neck some rest. But it is also important to keep the neck moving to avoid further stiffening or muscle deconditioning.

This article includes 4 easy stretches to improve neck flexibility and function. As well as test which movements may need to be modified or avoided until the neck feels better. Some of these stretches may feel good or help reduce pain and stiffness, whereas others may not. If a particular movement starts to increase pain, immediately stop it and try a different movement.

Neck Extension (Backward Bending)

Gently extend the neck by looking upward and bringing the head backward while keeping the shoulders and back stationary. Once the head has gone back as far as it can go without increasing pain. Try to hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning the head to neutral (starting) position.

During a neck extension exercise, the stretch is fel along the front of the neck through the throat. The muscles working at the back of the neck may also be fel, from the base of the skull all the way down to the upper back.

Neck Flexion (Forward Bending)

Gradually lower the chin toward the chest and look downward while only moving the head. Once the head has flexed forward as far as it can comfortably go. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning to neutral position.

The neck flexion stretch is fel throughout the back of the neck.

Lateral Neck Flexion (Bending Side to Side)null

Slowly bend the head to one side, such as by bringing the left ear toward the left shoulder. During this stretch, the shoulders and back remain still while the neck flexes laterally to the side. Once the head has flexed as far as it can comfortably go to the side. Try to hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning the head to neutral position. This stretch is then repeat in the opposite direction.

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