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. You are going to 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 are going to 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 off 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 when it comes to neck pain is working on 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 which puts the least amount of stress on the muscles. You are utilizing those deep muscles that are stabilizing the neck by doing 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 you 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 are going to push the head into that towel, your head is not really moving but those deep muscles in your neck are kicking in. And just like I said at the start, you are going to 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 progress even more to 25, 50, or 75% and then to 100%.
How many repetitions will you need to do? At the start, just go with 5 repetitions, one second each, 25% of your maximum contraction. The head is really 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 off lightly and after those five repetitions, you are going to 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 you might have done the exercise incorrectly. So go back and watch the video again. Make sure you are doing the technique perfectly and then see how you end up feeling.
If you are feeling good, then you can progress it. You can progress it by going with 5 repetitions, going a little bit stronger to about 50% of your maximum contraction, or you can increase how long you are pushing forward to 2-5 seconds. Give that exercise a go in order to relieve your neck pain.
If you are looking for more information when it comes to 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 that will 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!