How to Fix a Neck Out of Alignment

The modern lifestyle of long hours before the computer, bad sleeping position and driving for long distances all can lead to a neck out of alignment. This can cause tension and extreme pain within the neck. For the ideal posture, your neck should be straight when viewed from the front or back, and have a smooth C-curve when viewed from the side. If you are experiencing neck tension due to poor alignment, the following tips and exercises will help you.

Tips for Resetting Neck Alignment

The first thing to do is check your current alignment. To do this, stand against a wall with the back of your head, shoulders, pelvis and heels touching the wall. Do you feel comfortable in this position? You can also go to the mirror and check your neck out. Is your head sticking out too far forward? You can correct that and get your neck back to proper alignment by doing the following:

  • If you work on a computer, set it up so that it is 18 to 24 inches from your face and the upper third of the monitor is at the same level as your eyes.
  • Whenever and wherever you are seated, push your butt back so that your lower back curves slightly inwards and the rest of your back as well as the neck and head are fairly straight.
  • If you work at a desk or spend a lot of time sitting, take several breaks throughout the day. Use this time to do some neck and shoulder exercises. Stretch your neck towards your left shoulder, towards your back and then towards your right shoulder. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Choose a pillow that supports your neck properly while you sleep. Human beings spend a third of their lives sleeping. Use this time to realign your neck.
  • If you are arthritic or have a similar condition, consider taking cartilage enhancing supplements. In this way, you will strengthen your neck and other joints.
  • Contact a chiropractor to help you correct your posture and neck out of alignment.

Exercises to Help Correct Neck Alignment

The following exercises also work well to fix neck alignment. Before getting into more serious neck exercises, warm up your neck. Gently roll your neck clockwise for one to two minutes, stop and do likewise in a counterclockwise direction. Warming up will relax any sore or stiff neck muscles so that you have an easy time exercising.

1.     Cervical Flexion Stretch

  • Once you have warmed up sufficiently, sit in a straight chair, keeping your back straightened.
  • Gently move your head so that your chin reaches towards your chest. Hold this pose for 15 seconds.
  • Return your head to an upright position and repeat the exercise ten times, making sure that your movements are gentle and steady.
  • Next, roll your head backwards as far as you can and repeat the previous exercise with the head in the backward position.
  • Take care not to overstretch your neck.

2.     Cervical Lateral Flexion Stretch

  • With your chin parallel to the floor, turn your head towards your right as far as you can so that you are looking over your right shoulder.
  • As you turn your head, look the area within your changing view and let your abdominal muscles remain firm. Keep your torso and back in a straight position.
  • With your head at the furthest possible point, hold the pose for up to 15 seconds, then relax and bring your head back to the center.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times to your right.
  • Rest for a minute and repeat the exercise with your head turned to your left.

3.     Front Neck Stretch

  • Start in a sitting or standing position with your back and neck straight.
  • Turn your head to the right and then turn your face towards the ceiling so that your chin sticks out at about 45-degrees.
  • Put your left palm onto the top of your head, over your right ear.
  • Pull your head gently in the direction of your left shoulder while keeping the chin pointing outwards.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the opposite side.

4.     Chin Tuck in Supine Position

This is another great exercise to correct a neck out of alignment.

  • Lay flat on your back without support underneath your head.
  • Do as if you are nodding by pulling your chin in towards your chest, but keeping your head on the floor.
  • Hold the stretch for five seconds. Regain your starting position.
  • Repeat the stretch five to 10 times.

5.     Shoulder Blade Squeezes

  • Start by sitting in a straight chair, your neck pulled up and knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Relax your shoulders, releasing any tension that may have caused them to lift towards the ears. Lower your relaxed arms to the sides.
  • Push your shoulders back so that your shoulder blades come as close together as possible and hold the stretch for five seconds.
  • Relax your shoulders and repeat the stretch for 10 times.
  • Increase the stretch holding time from five to 10 seconds and progress to doing two and then three sets per day over a period of time.

6.     Arm Swing-Up

This exercise will strengthen the muscles in the rear of your neck and thereby helps to correct the posture of your neck. It also strengthens your upper back muscles.

  • Stand straight with the feet shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed on your sides.
  • Pull your head back so that neck is in alignment with your spine and your chin is parallel to the floor.
  • Bring your arms to the front and keeping them straight, put your palms together and raise your hands up and above your head.
  • Keep your shoulders pulled back as far as possible while your neck remains straight.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds.
  • Lower your arms to the front with palms still together and repeat the exercise 10 times.

For more knowledge to fix a neck out of alignment, watch this video.


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