How to relieve neck and shoulder pain

Exercises to relieve neck and shoulder pain

Do you hold stress and tension in your shoulders and neck? I do. It’s a key warning sign for me that I need to spend some time stretching. I’ve let a few things go, just temporarily, you understand. I can’t do everything, so I dropped a couple things in order to do something else and, well, now I’m paying the price for it. But, life is about choices and whether right or wrong, there are always consequences for each choice we make.

So, my choices have caused me pain this morning, but I can’t let that stop me. I’ve got things to do and places to go. I did not have time to do my exercises to relieve neck and shoulder pain before I left for work, so I spent some time at work doing stretches that really did the trick for me. Shhh, don’t tell my boss.

Relieving the tension in your neck

Here’s how I eased the kinks in my neck. It took doing this a couple times today to feel like my neck was functioning well.

1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Back straight and engage your core. Head slightly tilted toward to ceiling. Hands on your belly gently feeling the rise and fall of your breath. Now take a slow deep breath in through your nose and hold to the count of 3, then let it slowly leave your mouth. Do this four or five times and each time breathe in the healing oxygen and release the tension with each exhalation.

2. In the same position, gently tilt your head so that your left ear drops to or close to your left shoulder and hold for 3 second. Be sure to keep your shoulders down. Don’t bring the shoulder to the ear, you don’t have to have them touch to have a nice stretch, but you don’t want to tense up your shoulders either. We’re trying to avoid that. Then tilt your head to the right and hold for 3 seconds. Do this four or five times on each side before going to the next step.

3. In the same position, tilt your head to the left, just as above, then gently and slowly roll your head down and around until you come to the right shoulder as above. Then reverse roll back to the left. Feel the pull in those muscles? Do this four or five times each direction as well.

Please note, that while it may be tempting, it isn’t recommended to roll your head all the way around. This can cause trouble with arthritis, degeneration and other not so pleasant health issues. Stick to the gentle forward roll and the side to side stretches.

By now, your neck should be feeling better. If not, give it an hour and try it again. If at any time you have excruciating pain, stop immediately. This is meant to stretch tense muscles, if you have lots of pain, you may have something else going on and need to get that checked out.

Taking Care of your Shoulders

Now for the shoulders. I found this exercise to be very helpful today. It stretched out the front of the shoulder right where I hold the tension. And, I did this at work. All you need is a wall with a little bit of space in front of it.

Stand tall (core engaged) with your right shoulder towards the wall, but a small step away from the wall.
Stretch you right arm straight up and put it on the wall at 12:00. Slowly slide it from 12:00 to 3:00.
Feel the pull? If not, move a little closer to the wall until you feel a good stretch in those muscles.
Be sure not to twist your body when doing this or bend backwards. That defeats the purpose and may mean you’ll hurt something else in the process. If it’s too much of a stretch, move away from the wall a bit so you are not hurting yourself.
Switch sides and repeat.

Taking Care of You

I do the neck exercises every day at least once in the morning and often again at work later in the day. This is something that you can do wherever you are and doesn’t take much time. It’s a good tension reliever if you hold your stress in your neck. I just started doing the shoulder exercise as I am still healing from a shoulder injury, but it felt so good to have that tension relieved from my shoulders, I’m sure I’ll do this simple stretch more often now.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. I’m glad you came to visit today and I hope this helps relieve some tension for you today.

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