When your head is balanced squarely over your shoulders, gravity’s pull on that 11 pound noggin is no problem for your neck muscles - weight does not produce any torque on the point of support. However, when your head tilts forward, sideways, or backward so that it no longer sits centered over your shoulders, the equilibrium is disrupted. Gravity then pulls your heavy brainbox down so that nearby muscles have to work harder to support it and your neck 🦒. Too much of this will lead to an overused, strained muscle, which can occur on the front, side, and back of the neck. This can also lead to facet joint (vertebrae connector) inflammation.
Good posture is strain prevention, but when that fails us, motion is lotion ...
Shoulder blade squeeze: While sitting in a chair, sit up straight with shoulders down, and squeeze your shoulder blades together toward your spine. Hold for a count of 5, or one or two slow breath cycles, and then release. Repeat this 3 or 4 times daily.
Bird wing stretch: Place your elbows at your sides and touch your shoulders with your hands, creating your "bird wings." Keeping your hands on your shoulders and your ears aligned with your collarbone, raise both elbows slowly (in the time of a slow inhale). Try inhaling while lifting the arms and exhaling on the descent as well as the reverse. Shoot for multiple reps over 30 seconds, 3 or 4 times a day.
Chin Tucks: Sitting up straight with your shoulders down, draw your chin back toward your ears (give yourself a double chin). Simultaneously, lengthen through the spine and lift upward through the crown of your head. Hold for 2 or 3 seconds and release. Breathe in as you tuck your chin and lengthen the spine. Breathe out on the release. You should feel a stretch in the back of your neck between your vertebrae (flexion). Don’t look up or down, just draw the chin back. Hold for about three seconds and repeat 10-15 times. Repeat as often as you need throughout the day.