If you have arthritis, you’ve experienced the pain that comes with it. It causes stiffness and pain, especially upon waking up in the morning. Fortunately, lots of back and neck stretches can help reduce pain and leave you feeling better every day.
Many types of arthritis affect the neck and back, including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis. If you wake up feeling sore and stiff, establishing a morning stretching routine can help. Promotes mobility and relieves pain at the start of the day.
Without back and neck stretches, you won’t move as well and the pain can become debilitating. This leads to decreased functioning and the inability to perform your regular daily activities. Staying active is essential and the best way to live a full life with less pain.
You will want to relax and unwind in the back and neck stretches. Be gentle and don’t push yourself beyond a comfortable position. If one move hurts, skip it and try another until your body is ready. Also, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
Why does arthritis cause back and neck pain?
Your joints take a lot of impact over the years, and wear and tear can take its toll. Arthritis can affect the knees, hands, wrists and feet, but it also causes back and neck pain. It breaks the vertebrae in the neck causing more than 85% of people over the age of sixty to suffer from arthritis in this area.
Although you want to keep your neck and back still when they hurt, this will only make your symptoms worse. You will feel more stiffness and potentially loss of motion. Back and neck stretches will help improve the situation and strengthen your body.
Tips for stretching your back and neck
Before you start stretching for arthritis pain relief, remember a few things. Be sure to move smoothly with each stretch, avoiding sudden movements. If you feel pain, stop immediately and try something less intense.
10 Back and Neck Stretches to Help Reduce Arthritis Pain
These stretches help reduce arthritis pain in the back and neck. You can adjust the position until it is comfortable for you, but be sure to stick to it as much as possible. The more you stretch, the easier it becomes and you can increase the amount you do.
1. Head tilt
This stretch benefits both sides of the neck and improves pain on both sides. You’ll want to start by standing or sitting straight, making sure you don’t slouch. Then tilt your head to the right without raising your shoulders.
Hold the position for five to ten seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat the stretch, tilting your head to the left this time. It is best to do this five times on each side.
2. Half push-ups
Half push-ups are great for relieving your back and neck. You’ll want to start by lying on your stomach, placing your forearms flat on the floor. Bend your elbows to the sides looking down and straighten your neck.
Once you’re in position, slowly push down with your hands, arching your back. Make sure to keep your hips grounded and arch your back until you feel a stretch in your stomach muscles. Hold the stretch for five to ten seconds, then return to the starting position, trying to do it ten times.
3. Knees to Chest
You will begin this stretch by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Use your hands to lift one knee, gently pulling it toward your chest.
Hold this position for about five seconds before lowering your foot to the floor. Relax for a few seconds and repeat the stretch with the other knee. Try to stretch your knees to your chest five times on each side.
4. Retraction neck stretches
Neck retraction stretches help relieve pain from frequently having your head tilted forward. This pain usually occurs when your head is pushed forward for long periods of time, usually while texting or looking at a smartphone.
Begin the neck roll by pulling your shoulders back to open your chest. Next, pull your head back, giving yourself a double chin. Make sure you don’t tilt your head forward or backward and keep looking straight ahead.
Stretches the lower neck, the back of the head and the base of the skull. You can even feel it in the front of your neck. Hold the position for at least five to ten seconds, then repeat the stretch five times if possible.
5. Neck retraction with rotation
For this stretch, you will follow the same steps as for a normal neck stretch, but then you will add another step. Pull your shoulders back, double your chin, then gently turn your head to one side. Slowly turn it to the other side and repeat the movement about 20 times for ten rotations on each side.
You shouldn’t feel any sharp pain while stretching, so stop if it happens. This stretch allows you to improve your range of motion and keep your joints as healthy as possible.
Knee twists benefit your neck and back because they quickly reduce pain and promote strength in those areas. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent, keeping your feet together. Slowly move your knees to the side while keeping your shoulders flat against the floor.
Hold the position for ten seconds before returning to the starting position. Then roll to the other side, repeating the stretch three times on each side.
7. Deep lunge
For a deep lunge, first kneel on your right knee. Put your left leg in front of you with your foot flat on the floor. Lift your back knee off the floor and hold for five seconds before lowering your knee back down.
Raise your knee, repeating the process three times on the same side. Then switch legs and repeat three times on the other side. A deep lunge is more beneficial than a regular lunge because it increases range of motion.
8. Neck Stretches: Lower and Raise
This stretch increases flexibility and movement by working both the front and back of the neck. To start, you will need to stand or sit up straight and slowly lower your head until your chin touches your chest. Hold the position for five to ten seconds before returning to your starting position.
Then, tilt your head back slightly and hold for another five to ten seconds. Repeat the stretch until you’ve done it five times in each direction.
9. Side bending rotations
For this back and neck stretch, tilt your head to the left, bringing your ear close to your shoulder. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort doing this, so stop if you feel any pinching or tingling. Go as far as you can, then turn your head until you’re looking at the ceiling.
Looking at the ceiling, see if you can drop your shoulders. Then take a deep breath and try to deepen the stretch as much as you can. Stay in this position for 25-30 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position and repeating on the right side.
10. Tilt and suction cups
This stretch requires you to get on all fours to begin with. Be sure to keep your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips throughout the stretch. Once in position, arch your back and lower your head.
Hold the position for five seconds before returning to the original position. After five seconds, slowly raise your head, relax your stomach, and stick your buttocks out. Hold this new position for five seconds before repeating the whole process five times.
In addition to neck stretches, try these three tips to reduce arthritis pain
Back and neck stretches are great ways to reduce arthritis pain. However, other techniques also help. You can do these methods with your stretching routine.
1. Go for a walk regularly
Walking is a low-impact way to reduce arthritis pain and provides cardiovascular benefits. You will want to wear comfortable walking shoes to reduce back pain. Walk lightly on your feet, maintaining good posture throughout your walk.
2. Try Tai Chi, which incorporates gentle neck stretches
Tai chi is similar to yoga, but instead of building strength and flexibility, it focuses more on relieving pain. It is a gentle, continuous form of stretching that requires movement. Tai chi puts less stress on the joints and also improves balance better than yoga. You can take a Tai chi class or learn it at home, which makes it easily assessable.
3. Improve your posture
No matter what you’re doing, you want to make sure you have good posture. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and arms at your sides. If your posture is good, you will experience less joint pain.
Final Thoughts on Back and Neck Stretches to Help with Arthritis Pain
Arthritis pain can make you feel like you can’t move, causing you to stop stretching and exercising. However, when you spend too much time resting, it can make your condition worse. It can also cause you to gain weight, which puts increased pressure on your joints.
These back and neck stretches can help reduce arthritis pain and allow you to live a full life. When you stretch and feel good, you will feel less pain. Develop a routine of exercises and stretches to immediately improve your situation.
By Sarah Barkley. Articles in English