What stretches can I do before I work out to avoid neck pain?

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT

To minimize neck pain during a workout perform the following three stretches, gently holding each for at least 30 seconds before you begin activity:

  • Side Neck Stretch (Muscles being stretched: Scalenes/Upper Trapezius)

[media id="DEV__4c826379677e23_25565165" title="Side Neck Stretch"]

  • Back of Neck Stretch (Muscle being stretched: Levator Scapulae)

[media id="DEV__4c80dc0a076cb1_96372847" title="Back of Neck Stretch"]

  • Front of Neck Stretch (Muscle being stretched: SCM)

A popular stretch that you can perform prior to your workout to help avoid neck pain is the upper trapezius stretch. When performing this technique, make sure you do not stretch too far. It should be a comfortable stretch that you hold for approximately 30 seconds. This will give your neck muscles enough time to relax and lengthen. Stop immediately if you experience pain during this stretch or tingling in your arm.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.