We have discussed the causes, symptoms, and conditions of age-related neck and back pain. To reduce the risk of neck and back problems, you need a healthy and active lifestyle. With regular practice of yoga and therapeutic exercises for neck and back pain, you can build a strong and supple spine.
These exercises can be practiced by all those who wish to have a strong neck and back and reduce the risk of spine problems. However, if you have pain or any neck or back problem, follow medical advice. You can also choose to consult an expert and perform the exercises under their supervision until you are comfortable with it.
Best Exercises For Your Neck And Back
Here are some of the most commonly advised exercises for the neck. These exercises are best done in a standing position to maintain an erect posture, or else you can also sit straight in a chair.
- Neck Movements – Move your neck slowly up and down and then sideways. Hold each position for 5 seconds before you move. Then, tilt your neck to the sides, without bending forward or backward, and hold each side for 5 seconds.
- Chin Tucks – Move your chin back towards the chest, without bending it back and hold for 5 seconds.
- Shoulder Shrugs – Raise your shoulders as if you were shrugging, hold for 5 seconds and bring them down.
- Arms Raise – Stretch your arms in the front and interlock your fingers to feel a stretch in your shoulders. Gently raise your arms with fingers interlocked till you reach on top of your head. Hold for 5 seconds and bring the hands down.
To strengthen your neck and shoulders, you can use a resistance band to pull apart or low weight dumbbells lifting, based on your fitness levels.
Here are some of the most commonly advised exercises for the back. These exercises not only help to relax the back but also help to strengthen the back. These help to relieve tension in the back muscles, make it strong and supple. These have to be performed by lying on a yoga mat.
- Pelvic Bridge – Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet rested on the floor. Then, push through your heels and raise your pelvis to form a bridge-like pose, while your upper body and feet are on the floor.
- Knee to chest stretches – Lie on your back and feet rested on the floor. Put both the hands around one knee and pull it close to the chest, hold and then stretch forward again.
- Pelvic Rotation – Lie in the same position as above. Keep the shoulders firmly on the floor, roll the pelvic area, so that both the bent knees reach to the one side. Gently roll the bent knees to the other side of the body, keeping the shoulders firm on the floor. Hold each position for 5 seconds. Then bring the bent knees to the original position.
- Cat Stretches – Fir this exercise, you need to be on all fours, with hands and knees on the floor and parallel to each other. The back is parallel to the floor. Now gently begin to arch your back by pulling the belly button towards the spine. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax such that the abdomen sags down.
You can repeat these exercises 5 times initially and gradually move to 10 times.
It is also good to perform, yoga for a strong neck and back. Some of the popular yoga asanas suggested to reduce the risk of neck and back problems include the following.
Sukhasana, Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Virbhadrasana (Warrior Pose) Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Balasana (Child Pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose) and Savasana (Corpse Pose).
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations are also considered one of the best all-round asanas for mind and body healing. However, it may be performed only if you can comfortably move through all the asanas, so they can be modified too.
If you are unable to perform certain poses, you can avoid doing them or talk to your expert for a modified approach.
Exercises For Neck And Back – Points to Remember
For 45 plus people, it is good to practice these exercises for neck and back pain regularly, to reduce the risk of degenerative problems. For those who already have pain or an underlying problem, can wait till the pain completely subsides and then begin with the exercises. Usually, exercises for neck and back pain must be performed in a graded manner. This means the therapeutic exercises must begin with slow, gentle movements initially, depending on your pain and other symptoms.
Once you are comfortable with those and you do not have any pain or symptoms, you can proceed to the next level. The next level may be increasing the repetitions of your exercises or introducing weight or strength training to your exercise plan. If you are doing yoga, you will be advised the beginner level first, and then gradually you can proceed to the advanced level, which has more complex asanas. Thus, it all depends on your fitness levels, your complaints, or comfort in doing a particular exercise.
Practicing these simple exercises for neck and back can help reduce your risk of spine degeneration. Cervical spondylosis, lumbar disc problems do need medical advice, with proper diagnosis and treatment. But therapeutic exercises and yoga are often advised in addition to medical treatment, in most cases. However, it is best to seek your doctor’s advice before beginning with your yoga or therapeutic exercises routine.