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Neck Exercises Blog, A Guide to a Better Neck Posture

Hello and welcome to Neck Exercises. I am glad you want to take care of your neck. Whether you have neck pain, tension, stress or discomfort, neck exercises can help. Making small adjustments each day to include neck exercises, stretch exercises, or a neck workout, will gradually improve your neck health and quality of life. Let's get started!

Baby Head Up Neck Exercises

I was talking to my husband tonight while eating dinner and
he joking mentioned about writing “baby neck exercises.” I looked at our son
and said “I know you’re joking but that sounds like a good topic tonight.” Our
son came out with his head up and now always likes to throw his head back. Over
a year later, our son inadvertently does neck exercises every time he looks up
at us.

We first started working on his neck muscles after he was
born. We would put him on the Boppy pillow and get him to raise his head up. I
also had him work on the head up or neck extension neck exercises while he was
on his stomach on the bed. These were easy head up neck exercises for our son.
We just kept increasing the amount of time to have him build his endurance.

One way you can work on a baby’s neck muscles is to practice
how high the baby can raise the head up. You can start off the head up neck
exercises
with barely off the bed/floor (like the picture); then increase to an inch off the
floor; then a couple inches off the floor. You can try to increase the neck
range of motion and endurance with any upper body support for the baby.

Another way to help get the baby to raise the head up and do
neck exercises is to gently stroke the back. You want to stroke with your palm
starting from the neck and all down the back. This will help facilitate the
baby’s neck and back muscles to work on neck and back extension. This is a
simple trick to do for head up neck exercises.

Babies are not too young to have benefits of strong neck
muscles by doing head up neck exercises. These neck exercises could help the
baby be sure to lift the head while sleeping and avoid the sudden infant death
syndrome (SIDS) as much as possible. Other baby neck exercises will be
described at a later time. Enjoy looking up!

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Open Mouth Jaw and Neck Exercises

Are you noticing your jaw getting a bit tired lately? The holiday season is going strong and I suspect that your mouth has been doing a bit more over time than usual. Am I right? You have been opening your mouth more now with food and talking the past couple of weeks. What’s opening your mouth a few more times for a jaw and neck exercises going to do to you? 

The facial muscles responsible for closing your mouth are the temporalis, masseter and medial pterygold. The temporalis muscle starts from the side of your head on the temporal bone and ends on the mandible, around the top of the jaw bone. The masseter muscle originates along the side of your cheek bone or zygomatic arch and ends on the mandible, the bottom of the jaw bone. The medial pterygold muscle starts at the pterygold plate on the inside surface and ends on the inside bottom of the mandible.

The back of the neck muscles help to bring back the head and open up the mouth when the bottom jaw is not moving. The small neck extensor muscles are semispinalis capitis and cervicis and splenius capitis and cervicis. When these neck muscles work together they extend the head back. There are other neck extensor muscles but the ones mentioned previously are the focus for these jaw and neck exercises.

The opening of the jaw neck exercises will help release tension along the side of the head. When the facial muscles that close the mouth are tight, you may develop a headache. These chewing muscles can also make you clench your teeth or even grind your teeth. Releasing the tightness in these jaw muscles with neck exercises will provide relief to your mouth.

The open mouth jaw and neck exercises can be done sitting, standing or even lying down. The purpose of these open mouth jaw and neck exercises is to balance the muscles and be pain free. When using your neck extensor muscles to open your mouth is to balance the top of the jaw muscles. I’ll describe the open mouth jaw and neck exercises in sitting. Let’s begin!

Sitting Position: 

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Hands in your lap
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Do a chin tuck by bringing your chin back towards your shoulders
  • Relax your mouth
  • Have your eyes looking straight ahead

Open Mouth Jaw and Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Open your mouth by moving your bottom jaw down
  • Close your mouth by bringing your jaw up
  • Breathe out
  • Breathe in
  • Begin to tilt the top of your head back
  • Let the top of your mouth open up
  • Leave your bottom jaw in place
  • Close your mouth as you bring your head back to starting position
  • Breathe out
  • Repeat this 10 times

There should be no pain or discomfort with these neck exercises. The movements with the jaw and neck should be slow, smooth and controlled. Avoid clenching your teeth or biting down hard when closing the mouth. You should feel a slight stretch in your jaw muscles as you open and close. If you have pain with these movements, limit the motion of opening and closing or stop all together. Other mouth and jaw neck exercises will be described at a later time. 

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