Supine Neck Mobility & Stretches
Learn movements and stretches to keep the muscles the neck and upper back flexible, which can help resolve headaches, muscle pain, stiffness, and improve your posture.
Unless there is a known medical reason for you not to perform these neck stretches, keeping the muscles of your neck and upper back flexible and feeling good is really important. It can help resolve headaches, muscle pain, stiffness, and improves your posture. Obviously if any of these stretches cause discomfort, hold off on them for now.
Start by simply turning your head from side to side, trying to get your chin in line with your shoulder as much as you can and keep your breath steady and even.
Next, lift your head like you’re trying to touch your chin to your chest. Hold it for a second and then come back down. If it’s hard to do, lift your head as much as you can, then use your arms to lift a little more. The added pressure of your hands might help you feel a stretch in the back of your neck or upper back.
Now, without moving your shoulder, bring your ear as close as you can towards your shoulder. Use the hand on that side to gently pull the ear closer to the shoulder. Your nose should still be pointing up at the ceiling, no turning the head. Switch sides. To get a real change in your range of motion, hold all these stretches we talk about for at least 15 to 30 seconds, even though I didn’t do that here, and do them 2 to 4 times on each side.
This next one can be tricky. Point your chin towards your armpit. Put the arm on that side diagonally across your head and gently pull the towards your armpit. You can change the angle of the stretch by adjusting the position of your chin, and you might find another angle stretches different areas of muscle that need it more. Switch sides after 15-30 seconds of stretching, and as before, do this 2 to 4 times on each side. Again, keep the breath steady and even, and make sure not to hike the shoulder up on the side you’re stretching, as this will make the stretch less effective.
Exercise is an important part of COVID-19 recovery in order to regain your strength, endurance, flexibility, and ability to fully take part in all aspects of your daily life. Even if you cannot yet tolerate exercise in positions other than on your back or in bed, it is still very important to keep yourself as active as possible.
Some of the absolute basic exercises that should be performed if you are bed-bound include ankle pumps, heel slides and rolling from side to side to change position. Doing these exercises regularly several times a day will help from developing blood clots, pressure ulcers or bedsores, and contractures (shortened, tight muscles).