What Are the Best Stretches for Stiff Necks?

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When your neck is stiff or sore, literally every move you make can be painful, making it hard to focus on anything else. Fortunately, a stiff neck is usually just a minor injury that heals on its own without need of medical attention. It could happen due to muscle strain from playing a sport or other activity, or it could even be caused by sleeping with your head at an odd angle all night. Regardless of the reason, a stiff neck causes enough discomfort to have you looking for some relief.

Although you shouldn’t attempt to care for more severe injuries — whiplash from a car accident, for example — on your own, there are some good self-care options for minor aches and stiffness. Whether high stress caused neck spasms or you slept in an awkward position or tweaked a neck muscle in a ball game, certain types of neck stretches can help you alleviate the pain. Here’s a look at some of the best exercises for stiff necks.