Neck & Shoulder Pain

 

How to Relieve Neck Pain

These neck pain relief stretches and exercises can help you relieve neck pain from a strain, spasm, or even if you just slept on your neck wrong. They can also help relieve tension headaches.

First start off with some gentle neck movements to warm up your muscles by turning your head from side to side like you are looking over your shoulder. This is neck rotation. Now you are going to take your ear to your shoulder on each side. Make sure you are not shrugging your shoulders up. This is side bending.

Next, the exercise is a simple chin tuck. You don’t want to tuck it down to your chest, but take your chin, and pull it backwards. You can put your finger on your chin, as a target or starting point, and then tuck it in. Hold it for about 3-5 seconds, and then relax. Do this about 3-5 times.

Now for a trapezius stretch, place your hand under your thigh to keep your shoulder down, then side bend your head to the opposite side and gently put pressure with your other hand to get a stretch through your trapezius muscles. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.

Then you will stretch your levator scapulae muscle. This is the muscle that is used when you shrug your shoulders, and they can get overworked when you are stressed out. Take your arm on the side of the pain and place it above and behind your shoulder. Then take your opposite arm and place on top and slightly behind your head. Look down towards the opposite knee of the pain and apply gentle pressure for a good stretch.

The next stretch is for the anterior scalene muscles. Cross you hand over to the side you want to stretch and place it on your clavicle to help hold down the first rib where they are attached. Turn your head toward that side and look upward. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.

The final exercises are isometric exercises that will help strengthen the muscles. You are going to do isometric exercises in each direction. Basically this is when you activate the muscle, but you are not moving it. You can do this by gently pressing into your hand in each direction. Hold each one of these for 3-5 seconds.

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How to Release Shoulder & Neck Adhesions

When neck and shoulder adhesions and scar tissue form from an injury or surgery, they help the healing process. However, if too much forms, it can cause pain, tightness, and weakness.

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There are several ways to help reduce these adhesions including stretching, exercises, and soft tissue mobilization.

A great way to break up some of those adhesions is through Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM). This is when you use special tools to help break up the adhesions. These tools can do a better job of breaking it up versus soft tissue mobilization with your hands.

You want to make sure your healthcare professional has shown you how to do this correctly before trying it on yourself. It should never cause bruising to the area, but you will get redness and sometimes petechiae, which are pinpoint red, brown, or purple spots on the skin. This is when the small blood vessels break, and the blood comes to the surface. This is common and normal as long as it’s not a significant amount. Make sure the tool is slightly at an angle, and use long upward strokes on the skin. It shouldn’t be painful, but it might be slightly uncomfortable. You can do this for about 10-15 seconds in each area, and move along the surface you are working on. The total time should only be 3-5 minutes.

Once you have loosened up and/or broken up the adhesions with this technique, you want to stretch out the muscles to help the fibers get back in alignment. For the neck and shoulder you can do the following stretches.

The first is a posterior capsule stretch, which also helps stretch the rhomboid muscles. Bring the arm you want to stretch out in front of you, and then across your body. Use your other hand to put some pressure on it for a stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

The next stretch is for the rhomboid muscles. Clasp your hands together straight out in front of you. Rotate your arms to one side, and then rotate back to the other side. You can hold on each side for 5-10 seconds and do 5 on each side.

Then you will stretch your triceps muscles. Take the arm you want to stretch and reach up into the air. Then bend at your elbow, and bring your hand behind your shoulder. Use your other hand to push gentle back for more of a stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and do three on each side.

Now you will stretch your neck muscles. Place your hand under your thigh to keep your shoulder down, then side bend your head to the opposite side and gently put pressure with your other hand to get a stretch through your trapezius muscles. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.

The final stretch is going to be for your levator scapulae muscle. This is the muscle that is used when you shrug your shoulders, and they can get overworked when you are stressed out. Take your arm on the side of the pain and place it above and behind your shoulder. Then take your opposite arm and place on top and slightly behind your head. Look down towards the opposite knee of the pain and apply gentle pressure for a good stretch.

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Shoulder Arthritis Stretches & Exercises

These shoulder arthritis stretches and exercises should help relieve the pain caused by shoulder arthritis.

The first stretches are called pendulums. Use a chair or counter top for balance, and lean over so your arm hangs down towards the ground. Move your body, not your arm in circles so your arm swings around like a pendulum. You can also rock front to back and side to side. Start off with 10 of each and work your way up to a minute of each.

Then you are going to be in standing using a weight or resistive band. Try to keep your arm straight the whole time and don't bend your elbows. Your thumb is going to be pointed upwards. The first two are front and back which are flexion and extension. You don't need to raise the band way above your head. You can bring it to a 90 degree angle which is where your arm is parallel to the floor for flexion. Now you are going do put your arm out at a 45 degree angle which we call scaption.

Now you will do shoulder shrugs. Lift your shoulders up towards the ceiling, but try to keep your head and neck in one spot. Don’t bring your ears down towards your shoulders, lift your shoulders up. Do 10 of these. Now for shoulder circles. You can roll them clockwise, and then counter clockwise. This will stretch out the shoulder and neck muscles. Start with10 each way, and work your way up from there.

The next exercise is going to be rows or scapular retraction. You can use your feet as an anchor. You want to keep your elbows in close to your body and make a rowing motion. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together when you pull back. Make sure you are using a slow controlled motion.

For the final stretches you can use a Swiss/therapy ball, or if you don’t have one, you can use a table or counter top. This is an active assisted stretch, which means you are moving the arm now, but the ball will support the weight. You will slide your arms forward with your thumbs facing upward towards the ceiling and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch. You can stabilize the ball with your other hand, or stretch one shoulder at a time. You can also go out at an angle like the scaption or completely out to the side to stretch your pec muscles as well.

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Shoulder Pain Stretches & Exercises, Real-Time Routine

Shoulder Pain Stretches & Exercises, Real-Time Routine

These shoulder pain stretches and exercises are done in real-time. The routine is about 10 minutes long. It should help relieve your shoulder pain and get your shoulder moving again. Follow along with me, and hopefully you will feel better soon.

The first stretches are called pendulums. Use a small weight in your hand to help open up the shoulder joint. Use a chair or counter top for balance, and lean over so your arm hangs down towards the ground. Move your body, not your arm in circles so your arm swings around like a pendulum. You can also rock front to back and side to side. Start off with 10 of each and work your way up to a minute of each.

The next stretches you can use a Swiss/therapy ball, or if you don’t have one, you can use a table or counter top. You will slide your arm forward with your thumb facing upward towards the ceiling and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch. If you are sitting, you can also sit back on your heels for more of a stretch. Hold it for 30 seconds, and do three.

Now you are going to be in standing using a resistive band. Try to keep your arm straight the whole time and don't bend your elbows. Your thumb is going to be pointed upwards. The first direction will be flexion straight out in front of you. You don't need to raise the band way above your head. You can bring it to a 90 degree angle which is where your arm is parallel to the floor for flexion. Now you are going do put your arm out to the side for abduction. Finally, you will go behind you into extension, but you won’t be able to go to 90 degrees for this one. 40-45 degrees is plenty. Do ten of each.

For the last exercise, you will do a shoulder external rotation with a resistive band. Try to keep your elbows by your sides through out the exercise. If you want to roll up a small towel and place it between your side and your elbow for each side, this will keep your arms close to your side through out the exercise. Keep your elbows at about a 90 degree angle and your thumbs up towards the ceiling. Also try to keep your wrists in a neutral position. You don’t want to over stress your wrists, and then have a wrist injury. Slowly pull both arms out away from each other keeping your elbows at your side, and then slowly come back in. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then move up with resistive band.

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Neck Pain Stretches, Real-Time Routine

These neck pain stretches are done in real time, so follow along. These should help with general neck pain, neck spasms, tension headaches, or even that mean ole crick in your neck. This neck stretching routine takes about 12 minutes.

These neck pain stretches should be done with a 30 second hold, and do three on each side.

First start off with some gentle neck movements to warm up your muscles by turning your head from side to side like you are looking over your shoulder. This is neck rotation. Now you are going to take your ear to your shoulder on each side. Make sure you are not shrugging your shoulders up. This is side bending. Then you are going to bring your chin to your chest and then looking up towards the ceiling. This is neck flexion and extension.

Next you will do a chin tuck. You don’t want to tuck it down to your chest, but take your chin, and pull it backwards. You can put your finger on your chin, as a target or starting point, and then tuck it in. Hold it for about 3-5 seconds, and then relax. Do this about 3-5 times.

Now place your hand under your thigh to keep your shoulder down, then side bend your head to the opposite side and gently put pressure with your other hand to get a stretch through your trapezius muscles. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.

The final stretch is going to be for your levator scapulae muscle. This is the muscle that is used when you shrug your shoulders, and they can get overworked when you are stressed out. Take your arm on the side of the pain and place it above and behind your shoulder. Then take your opposite arm and place on top and slightly behind your head. Look down towards the opposite knee of the pain and apply gentle pressure for a good stretch.

Related Videos:

Neck Pain Stretches & Exercises

Neck Spasm Stretches

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