Get rid of neck pain and shoulder pain with this quick stretching routine that can be done anytime. A few minutes of exercises will provide relief for an achy neck and shoulders!
Do you have neck pain or shoulder pain? NO FUN. Not being able to twist side to side or feel distracted by a constant ache is the worst. Why do you have neck pain and how do you get rid of it? Read on for relief.
What Causes Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain?
Sitting at a computer (or iPhone!) all day with the head and neck in the same position leaves can cause neck pain and tight, stiff, and sore shoulders. But the computer isn’t the only culprit: stress can add to the problem. When you experience high levels of stress, the rib cage can drop slightly, causing the shoulders and upper back to round forward into a slouch. If you are feeling anxious, not sleeping properly, or pushing your body to the max, you may suffer from neck pain and shoulder pain as a side effect of stress.
Exercises to help Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain
There is so much you can do to help your neck pain and shoulder pain get better. The list of neck pain and shoulder pain exercises below will help you feel relief. But before you get started, lets talk about your posture!
Before you get started : FIX YOUR POSTURE for Neck Pain and Shoulder Pain relief long term
While all of the moves on the below list will help loosen your shoulders, relieve tension, and increase flexibility, fixing your posture should be your first stop. Think of it as the gateway to the rest of the exercises. When you have better posture you experience less neck pain and shoulder pain as a result. To help yourself correct your posture:
Posture correction exercise: From a standing position, slouch slightly forward. Now, overcorrect to an upright position with a slight bend to the upper back (without putting pressure on the neck or low back). You might want to place your thumb between your shoulder blades to make sure you’re feeling the movement in the right place: your upper back and shoulder blades. Repeat 3 to 5 times in each direction.
Neck pain and shoulder pain relief exercises:
- Scapular reset. Concentrate on isolating your shoulder blades (and not simply moving your shoulders up and down). Start in a comfortable standing position with arms at your side. Move your shoulder blades up, then out (pushing away from your body), then down. You only need to move about one centimeter in each direction. Maintain proper postural alignment throughout the exercise. Hold each position for 10 seconds or longer.
- Chin retractions “the chicken”. This move is especially great for people who hold their neck in the same position for long periods of time (i.e., staring at a computer for eight hours a day). Move your chin forward, then slowly pull it back by slightly tucking it in toward your throat. Try to keep chin parallel to the floor and straight (not tipping it up or down). Repeat hourly up to 10 times.
- Neck rolls. Tilt the head to the right and slowly roll it down (chin to chest) and to the left (making a “U” shape). Then reverse to the right. Repeat 5 times in each direction. Only roll your head and neck sideways and forward—not to the back, as doing so increases the pressure on the cervical spine.
- Neck stretch side. Bend right ear to the right shoulder. Place right hand over left temple and add a little extra pressure by gently pulling the head to the right. Left hand can rest at your side, reach behind your back, or hold the bottom of a chair to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Shoulder rolls. From a position of proper alignment, roll shoulders up, then back, then down in a fluid motion. Repeat this movement about 10 times, then reverse it, rolling forward about 10 times.
- Triceps stretch. Reach right arm straight up, then bend elbow and let hand fall behind your head. Move left arm up to press the right elbow back . Keep your chin up and spine straight. Repeat on the other side.
- 45* down. Turn head 45 degrees to the right and look down in the direction of your armpit. Reach right hand over the top and back of the head with the elbow pointing in the 45-degree plane (in the direction of the armpit), and add a little extra pressure by gently pulling the face down toward the armpit. The left hand can either rest at your side, reach behind your back, or hold the bottom of a chair to increase the stretch. Repeat the exercise up to 3 times on each side.
- Reverse prayer. Bring both hands behind the back and allow palms to come together in a prayer, feeling shoulder blades open and keeping back straight. If you’d like you can add a neck stretch side to side. To make this stretch easier, bring hands behind the back and hold left elbow with right hand and right elbow with left hand.
- Wall slides. With your back to a wall, stand with palms facing out. Slowly bring arms up to make a 90* angle shape—keeping your arms and back in contact with the wall. Reach the arms over your head straight and then return to 90* squeezing your shoulder blades. Continue to bring arms up and down touching thumbs overhead. Focus on keeping shoulder blades flat against the wall.
- Puppy pose. Come into an all fours position on your hands and knees. Reach your arms forward pressing your chest towards the floor and stretching your shoulders. Make sure your forehead is down on your mat. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then come up.
- Twisted Childs pose. Start on all fours. Lift left hand off the ground and “thread” left arm through the space between right arm and right leg, letting the back of the left hand and arm slide along the ground. Allow the upper body (thoracic spine) to naturally rotate toward the right, but keep hips level. Stop pushing arm to the right at the point where your hips begin to open to the right. (This may mean less of a range of motion than what you could do if you continued to open.)
- Side lying twist. Lie on your right side with legs bent comfortably, so the spine is neutral, and right arm is straight and perpendicular to the body. With left arm on top of right arm, push left arm slightly forward first, then lift it straight up and rotate it back, making a large arch in the air. Let your left arm fall as far as possible to the left side, without allowing your hips to move in the direction of your arm. Allow your nose and gaze to follow the left arm, slowly turning the neck to the left. Move slowly, holding for a few seconds at the end of the stretch before returning to starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other side.
Fast neck pain and shoulder pain relief routine video
Relieve neck pain and shoulder pain by taking a few minutes to move through this guided exercise routine. You can use this video daily for relief from neck pain and shoulder pain. Press play now!
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I hope these neck pain and shoulder pain relief exercises enable you to feel better in your body. Let me know in the comments below if you use this video! I hope your neck and shoulders feel better. Sending positive energy to you!
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