How to Get Rid of a Stiff Neck

A five-minute stretching routine to refresh and relax your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Three duplicate images of a guy with his hands behind his head

Sitting, texting, driving, binge-watching Netflix ­— life shoehorns us into static positions for long periods. “We do everything too much and our necks pay the price,” says Wisconsin-based yoga teacher Andrea Gerasimo, who focuses on mobility.

The neck contains your seven smallest vertebrae, all of which respond to subtle movement in the structures below, whether it’s initiated in your feet or rib cage. If you experience neck pain or stiffness, explains Gerasimo, it’s just as likely to be due to a problem in your hips, lower back, or shoulders as it is in the neck itself.

That’s why these moves focus not just on your neck, shoulders, and upper back but on whole-body alignment and mobility. All are designed to give your neck a break.

Try as many as you like, as often as you like — aim for every 30 minutes when you’re doing something sedentary, like working at a desk or watching TV. Your neck will thank you.

is an Experience Life contributing editor.

Photos: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Robert Clark

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