From exercising to painful office injuries requiring an Arizona sports medicine consultation, neck pain can be easy to procure and difficult to relieve. Injuries can be a result of trauma, muscle straining, or poor posture. Repetitive strain injuries from computer work have become increasingly common. In most cases, these kinds of strain injuries originate from the trapezius muscle; the large muscle extending from the back of the head to the upper back.
Although rest, icing, heat pads, and massages may help relieve minor pains and aches, recent studies have found that some simple strength training exercises can do wonders for relieving neck pain. Try these five dumbbell exercises to strengthen your trapezius myalgia and reduce your desk job neck pain:
- Shoulder shrugs: Holding a 2-5 pound dumbbell in each hand, let your arms hang at your sides. Keeping the neck straight, slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears and lower them again. Repeat.
- One-arm row: With a dumbbell in your left hand, stand at the left side of a workout bench. Set your right knee on the bench and bend at the waist, setting your right palm on the front of the bench for balance. With your back parallel to the floor and your arm hanging straight down, palm facing in, slowly pull up the weight towards your chest. Slowly lower and repeat, switching sides after ten repetitions.
- Upright row: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand upright with your arms stretched and hanging in front of your body. Raise the weights in a straight line close to your body until they reach the middle of your chest with elbows pointing up and out. Gently lower and repeat.
- Reverse fly: Raise the workout bench to a 45-degree angle. With a dumbbell in each hand, straddle the seat and press your chest against the raised end of the bench. Extend your arms toward the floor with palms facing in. Being sure not to lock your elbows, extend the weights out to your sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower and repeat.
- Shoulder abduction: Stand upright with dumbbells at your sides resting against your legs. Being sure not to lock your elbows, extend the weights out to your sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Gently lower your arms back to your sides and repeat.
Try these exercises at home or at the gym. Bear in mind that muscle soreness is normal for the first two weeks of exercising. If any of these exercises feel uncomfortable, skip them and seek advice from an AZ sports medicine expert at one of our many Foothills Rehab centers across the valley.