Neck & Shoulder Pain

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

How to Use a Percussion Massager for Shoulder & Neck Pain Relief

Sponsored Content: This video contains paid product placement. Thank you to iReliev for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with a free Wireless Percussion Massager to use. If you purchase products from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Click here to buy the iReliev Percussion Massager!

Percussive Massage Therapy is a popular, new rehab treatment that uses fast, soft pulses over a short amount of time to get deep down into the muscle fibers. The continuous taps help muscles relax and heal.

A percussion massager (aka massage gun) works great to help relieve shoulder and neck pain. Focusing on areas like the levator scapulae and upper trap muscles is a good place to start. But make sure to be aware of the precautions before beginning. An important precaution is to not use a percussion massager on the front of the neck.

Like a traditional massage, a percussion massager helps to reduce inflammation and increasing circulation. It can help relax tight muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and minimize muscle soreness and tension. Some studies have found percussive therapy to be as effective as massage in preventing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

In this video, I’m using the iReliev Wireless Percussion Massager. In addition to being wireless, the unit is very quiet, and it comes with four different head attachments to target various areas. It also includes a nice carrying case to keep everything organized and in one place

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Shoulder Pain Relief Stretches & Exercises

Shoulder pain can be caused by muscle tightness and/or weakness. These shoulder stretches and exercises may help relieve shoulder pain.

The first two shoulder stretches are pendulums and table slides. These will help loosen up the shoulder joint and relieve pain and tightness.

Next are shoulder exercises with a resistive band. Shoulder external rotation and rows help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder to help stabilize it, which will also relieve shoulder pain.

Finally, there are serratus punches. These can be done without or with a resistive band.

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Neck Pain Relief Stretches & Exercises

Neck pain can be caused by many things including bad posture, stress, and sitting at a computer too long. These simple neck stretches and exercises may help relieve neck pain. 

An upper trap stretch is a great way to relax muscles around the neck. You can use a stretch strap for a stronger stretch.

Next is a levator scapulae stretch. This muscle gets overworked often with using a computer or gaming for long periods.

Finally is a series of chin tucks. You can add scapular squeezes and neck flexion to work different muscles.

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Neck Pain Relief Stretches - 5 Minute Real Time Routine

Buy Neck WorksheetThese neck pain relief stretches are great for helping to relieve general neck pain and neck stiffness. The neck stretches are done in real time, so they are easy to follow. 

In general when stretching the neck, you should hold most stretches for 30 seconds, and do them 3 times. Sometimes you might not have enough time to go through your whole routine, which can be time consuming. If you are in a hurry, still hold the neck stretches for 30 seconds, but do less reps.

A quick warm up will help warm up and loosen the neck muscles to help get them going.

For the neck stretches, starting off with an upper trap stretch, a levator scapulae stretch, and an anterior scalene stretch will help relieve a lot of neck pain.

Next up is chin tucks. You don’t need to hold these for the full 30 seconds, but you can do several 5 second holds throughout the time.

Finally, to help stretch at specific segments of the neck, you can do SNAGS (sustained natural apophyseal glides) with a towel for cervical rotation. It’s also a great way to help mobilize the neck as well.

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