A sore neck can be a symptom of a bad night’s sleep, using a computer for a prolonged period of time or pulling a muscle. Stress and anxiety can also lead to tension in your neck, and if you’re a migraine sufferer, stiffness of the neck can even predict your next one.
There are a number of ways to ease the ailment, ranging from reaching for the painkillers to holding a hot water bottle to the area. Simple exercises and stretches can also alleviate pain, and we talk you through five of the best.
Standing neck stretch
This stretch is easy to do anywhere, and can offer instant relief. Standing with feet shoulder width apart, place hands behind the back, clasping one hand over the other wrist and stretching the arms slightly away from the body. Slowly lower your ear to your shoulder, hold for 30 seconds and then swap sides.
Stand opposite a corner in a room, approximately two feet back with feet together. Raise your forearms to the wall, with elbows just below shoulder height. Lean in as far as possible, feeling a stretch in the front of the shoulders and chest. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
Sitting cross legged on the floor or on a chair with feet planted firmly on the ground, place palms on the back of your head. Make sure your spine is stretched and your hips ground into the floor. Gently press hands down towards thighs, keeping them behind your head and tucking chin in. Hold for 40 seconds and then slowly bring head back up.
Upper back stretch
Sitting on a chair, stretch arms out in front of your with your palms touching each other. Bend over at the upper back, to form an almost diving position. Flex your chin to your chest and hold for 30 seconds.
Shrug shoulders to your ears and hold tightly for a few seconds. Staying in the position, roll shoulders back before relaxing them down. Repeat 10 times.