In this video, I wanted to go through the most important exercise to relieve neck pain. The exercise is called Head into the Towel.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I will get Andrea to demonstrate it.
You can use any type of Towel; a beach towel works well. And you will grab the Towel through your hands and bring it behind your Head. You are going to have it cupping the back of your Head. Your hands are out in front, and you will hold this position. You are going to push the Head into the Towel and then relax.
Head into the Towel (front view)
You are going to start with one second at about 25% of your maximum, relax and then go again with a one-second hold at 25% of your maximum.
A really important thing regarding neck pain is strengthening the neck muscles to keep the Head in line with the rest of the body. This is an excellent exercise as it puts your Head into a good posture, putting the least amount of stress on the muscles. You are utilizing those deep muscles stabilizing the neck by turning this Head back into a towel. By doing this, Head back into the Towel once every day for a week; you will improve your posture and strengthen those deep muscles in your neck.
I will get Andrea to face the other way so you can see it from the side. You have the Towel in your hands and are gripping it firmly but not overdoing it. You are bringing the Towel in behind; you are having it cup your Head, then you are aligning your Head, so it’s in line with the rest of your body. When that happens, you will push the Head into that Towel, your Head is not moving, but those deep muscles in your neck are kicking in. And just like I said at the start, you will do the repetition with a one-second hold at about 25% of your maximum push.
Head into the Towel (side view)
You can progress to 2-5 seconds and then even more to 25, 50, or 75% and then to 100%.
How many repetitions will you need to do? At the start, go with five repetitions, one second each, 25% of your maximum contraction. The Head is sensitive, and if you are overdoing the exercise, it could irritate things. It could make your neck pain worse, and it could give you headaches. You want to start lightly, and after those five repetitions, you will check how things are going. How do you feel? Does it feel better, worse, or the same? Now, if it feels worse, you may have overdone it or done the exercise incorrectly. So go back and watch the video again. Make sure you do the technique perfectly, and then see how you feel.
If you are feeling good, then you can progress it. You can progress it with five repetitions, going a little bit stronger to about 50% of your maximum contraction, or increasing how long you are pushing forward to 2-5 seconds. Give that exercise a go to relieve your neck pain.
If you want more information about injury and pain, swing by ExercisesForInjuries.com. Enter in your injury or pain. There is a good chance I have an article, video, or interview to help you overcome your injury or pain.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to end your neck soreness once and for all, then check out the Neck Pain Solved program here!