Neck & Shoulder Pain

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

Neck Pain

Buy Neck Pain WorksheetIf you are having some neck pain, stiffness, or tightness, check out this video for neck stretches. The neck muscles that are affected the most are your trapezius and levator scapulae muscles. People often describe neck pain as a crick in their neck.

First start off with some gentle neck stretches by bringing your chin to your chest and then looking up towards the ceiling. This is neck flexion and extension. Next 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 turn your head from side to side like you are looking over your shoulder. This is neck rotation. If that is not painful, then you can add some overpressure with your hands. 

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. 

 

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can really slow someone down, and when stiffness or tightness is involved people can have a difficult time with their every day activities. Here are some simple stretches to get your shoulder loosened up. They can be used if you have been diagnosed with shoulder tendonitis, bursitis, adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, shoulder impingement, or if you are recovering from a surgery.

The first stretches are called pendulums. Use a chair or counter top, 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. Add a small weight in your hand to open up the joint space while doing these stretches. The next stretches you will need to use a table or counter top. This is an active assisted stretch, which means you are moving the arm now, but the table will support the weight. You will slide your arm forward and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch. You can also move it at an angle and circles. 

Finally, you can use a wall to stretch your shoulder. Again, the wall will support your arm while you move it. You can slide it upward and lean into the wall until you feel a stretch, and then you can try circles as well. Then you can turn sideways to get your abduction stretch. 

 

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