At any point during the day, chances are you could use a neck massage. Knowing the reasons why your neck hurts can sometimes help you feel better — you slept funny, you carry an unreasonably heavy bag, or you sit at your desk all day. Sometimes, a simple switch is enough to help your neck, but an estimated 15% of the population deals with chronic neck pain, according to the CDC. Some research even suggests that neck pain is more common in women.
You probably can't just go and grab a massage whenever you're feeling tense (massages are expensive!), nor can you convince a friend or family member to rub your shoulders every time you need them to. Luckily, there are some things you can do on your own to ease the pain.
Here are some neck stretches from a few stretching experts: Hakika DuBose, founder and CEO of Power Stretch Studios; Jill Miller, creator of the corrective exercise format Yoga Tune Up and author of The Roll Model Method; and Lindsay Davis, a group fitness manager and instructor at Equinox. Try these right when you wake up in the morning, when you need a break at your desk, or when you're at the gym. With a little imagination, they might feel just as good as getting a neck massage.