The Neck Pain Relief Exercise You're Not Doing: Chin Retractions

Man performing chin retraction exercise for neck pain

Neck pain can often be caused by poor posture in the upper back and neck that can eventually lead to tight neck muscles, stiff joints and pain.

And unfortunately, when most people have neck pain, they only think of stretching.

But not you! You’re reading this, so you’re in the know!

And guess what?

We can often get great results without stretching at all! Instead we’re going to replace that valuable time that we’d often spend stretching with… chin retractions!!!

See, often neck pain is associated with our head being too far forward posturally.

It's known as anterior head carriage, and it can place a high amount of stress on the tissues in the back of the neck.

And stretching often moves the neck further in front of the body and stretches those already lengthened and irritated tissues.

Let's not stretch those already lengthened and irritated tissues!

Instead, we can retract our chins, stimulate the joints and tissues in the opposite direction and get relief!!!

Watch the video and/or read more below

How To Perform Chin Retractions:

1) Sit up nice and tall, standing or sitting is ok.

2) Retract your chin straight backward. Try to avoid looking up and extending the neck.

3) You should have a giant double-chin… and don't worry about how you look, you're going to be the one with a pain-free neck!

4) If there’s no pain you can add a little overpressure with your fingers.

If there’s no pain and that feels good, let’s progress this further!

Next steps:

1) While  your chin is fully retracted and you’re rocking that double-chin, extend  your neck backwards.

note: this can feel pretty awkward at first. Do it nice and slow and remember, none of these movements should create any pain or discomfort!

2) Feeling pretty good? Perform for 10-15 reps!

In my office I use this movement for a wide range of conditions ranging from acute cervical disc herniations with arm symptoms to more simple issues like myofascial pain.

A lot of time musculoskeletal pain can be confusing and scary.

There’s also often not a lot of 100% answers. Sometimes, we don’t really know why pain is there, even with advanced imaging.

Here’s what we do know…

The body loves movement and often we can take really complicated presentations of symptoms and keep things simple.

If certain movements hurt, avoid them and move more frequently in pain-free ranges.

Keep it simple and keep on moving!