Four easy stretches for tight neck and shoulders

Tightness in the shoulders is often an underlying cause of head, neck and/or mid-upper back pain.  Working on a computer or other device, driving and other activities most of us do on a day to day basis can be a significant cause of increased tension and pain in the neck and shoulders

The following five minute program of stretches can be easily performed at home or work and can be a big help in relieving neck and shoulder discomfort.

These stretches should be quite gentle and be performed several times throughout the day.  If you experience any pain when you stretch then reduce the intensity of the stretch immediately.

If pain persists or you are unable to stretch in a way that is comfortable and pain free then give us a call on 9975 4906 to discuss what the best course of action would be.

Cross arm stretch

The cross arm stretch is an excellent way to stretch the back of the shoulder, which is an area where many people hold a lot of stress and tension.

  • Begin by bringing the arm to be stretched across the body, keeping the elbow
  • Using the opposite hand, grab the front of the elbow and pull across the body until a
    gentle stretch is felt.
  • Make sure to keep your neck in a comfortable, neutral position
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat three times.

Pec stretch

The pec stretch helps to lengthen the muscles at the front of the chest. These muscles become tight from sitting with poor posture and rounded shoulders which shortens the muscles, contributing to back, neck and shoulder pain.

  • Stand in a doorway with arms placed at a 90 degree angle at the elbow.
  • With forearms on the door facing, lean forward until a gentle stretch is felt across the chest
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat three times.

Triceps Stretch 

This is a great stretch for the muscle that runs down the back of your arm, the triceps. This muscle gets overworked by long hours typing at a computer or performing repetitive actions with hands, leading to significant tightness and soreness in the area.

  • Lift your arm over-head and bending at the elbow so fingers are pointed down the back.
  • Using the opposite hand, gently pull the elbow back until
    a gentle stretch is felt
  • Make sure to keep looking straight ahead, with your neck in a comfortable, neutral position
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat three times.

Stick Stretch 

The stick stretch is a good way to start to open up the chest and gently set the neck back on top of the shoulders.

  • Begin holding a stick behind your back with your palms facing away from you and your arms in a relaxed position
  • Pull the shoulder blades back
  • Gently tuck the chin in and glide the neck back.
  • Gradually raise the arms up and extend them away from you so that you feel a stretch into the front of the chest
  • There should be no pain in the neck or shoulders, just a gentle sensation of stretching.
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat 3 times

These simple stretches will relieve some of the tension that builds up in our shoulders and neck throughout the day. It is important of course, to perform these stretches slowly and gently so as to avoid irritation of the area.

If you are experiencing significant neck or shoulder pain or tightness it is a good idea to have yourself assessed and treated.

Your physiotherapists at Essential Health Plus are experts in dealing with neck and shoulder pain of all types, so invest some time and let us help you move out of pain and back towards your optimum musculoskeletal health.