Stretching may feel good for a while, but it's not necessarily what you need. Try this:
1. Assess your work. If your neck is always sore after a day on the job, let's first address what's causing your pain. If you're on the phone all day, get a headset. If you sit at a desk for a lot of hours, create a more ergonomic work stationmany companies will help you do this.
2. Assess your workout. The stress from running or biking will aggravate your sore neck. Get your bike properly fitted for you at a bike shop. It's worth the investment. And focus on posture when you run, keeping your chest up, shoulders back and legs beneath your hips, not out in front of you.
3. Improve posture with exercise. Loosen up your thoracic spine using a foam roll or massage stick. (You can buy these tools at http://CorePerformance.com.) Also, strengthen the muscles that stabilize your shoulder blades to help improve your posture and reduce your risk for neck pain. Try a couple exercises called "Ys" and "Ts."
-- Sue Falsone, Director of Performance Physical Therapy, Athletes' Performance
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.