Neck & Shoulder Stretches For Natural Pain Relief
After weeks of lockdown or circuit breaker due to COVID-19, many of us would have felt neck and shoulder pain caused by working on a computer in a sedentary position.
Here are some neck and shoulder stretches that will help relieve your pain naturally.
We are sharing this Youtube Channel by AskDrJo.com because we found her videos very helpful in addressing many of our bodily aches and muscle pains (besides making us laugh sometimes).
Doctor Jo, is a Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Before beginning any of these stretches, it is recommended that you get a proper diagnosis or imaging from your doctor or physical therapist because some of the movements of these exercises might be contraindicated for certain diagnoses and especially for necks it can be very tricky and might have serious injuries.
Starting off with gentle stretches is good if your neck is stiff or you slept on it wrong
- The first thing you want to do is bring your chin down to the chest in a straight plane not turning your head left or right
Hold it for about 5-10 seconds then look back up at the ceiling
Repeat this exercise twice
- To start off the next warm-up exercise:
Bring your ear gently to the side (Do not bring your shoulder up, you’re not actually touching your ear to your shoulder, your shoulder should be staying in one spot.)
Keep it in a plane and stretch for 5-10 seconds
Then come back the other way and stretch for 5-10 seconds
Repeat this 3-5 times in each direction
Once that gets a little bit loosened up now what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna rotate a little bit.
3. Now turn almost like you’re looking over your shoulder.
Same thing about 5 -10 seconds and then turn back the other way and then stretching it out.
Those are just to help you start off. They are simple stretches without doing anything except moving your head and stretching those neck and shoulder muscles.
Exercise 1: @Youtube 2:20min
The next thing we’re going to do is to add some overpressure (Using your hand to give you a little more pressure added to the stretch):
All these stretches are gonna be traditional 30-second stretches, 3 times on each side.
It’s important to hold your hand underneath your leg and to keep your shoulder flat and it’s gonna pull down a little bit so you’re already getting a little bit of a stretch
Now bring your hand on the top of your head on the opposite way of the hand you’re using and you’re just gonna pull over to the side as if trying to take that ear towards the opposite shoulder.
Take some deep breaths, breathing in and out
Now repeat 30 seconds, 3 times each side making sure you do both sides to keep everything even
Exercise 2: @Youtube 3:15mins
The next one you’re gonna do is the levator scapulae stretch and that’s the muscle that pulls your shoulder blades up, that scapulae up.
Lots of times people get hunched a lot, they’re typing on their computer and those muscles get really tight, and when those muscles get tight, people tend to get tension headaches.
So to start this stretch:
Take the arm, the one on the same side that it’s hurting, and you’re gonna put it up on your shoulder if you can
Then take your other hand and put it on the back of your head
Hold it up as high as you can and pull your head downwards towards the opposite knee (almost like a 45-degree angle)
You shouldn’t feel any pain, only a nice stretch in your neck
Once again, 30 seconds, 3 times each side on both sides
Next, we’re moving on to stretches and exercises for cervical spondylosis. Spondylosis is just a fancy term for age-related wear and tear, degeneration in the spine. It is oftentimes the cause for aches and stiffness, especially in the cervical area. So the stretches usually make it feel better.
Now, we’re gonna do the isometric movements (making the movements but preventing yourself from moving):
So again we’re gonna go back to that rotation, side-to-side, but this time just place your hand on your temple and gently push into it.
So you’re head’s not really moving, but you’re just giving it a little pressure activating those muscles.
Hold it for 3-5 seconds then switch sides
Now do the same thing but vertically so placing your palm on your forehead and pushing inwards when going down and putting your hand on the back of your head when trying to come up
Do both up and down movements 5 times each for 3-5 seconds
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Nature Sanctuary Pte Ltd does not derive any payment, commission or revenue from Dr Jo, her Youtube Channel or https://www.askdoctorjo.com website. Sharing her videos does not equate to our endorsement of the products she markets or is affiliated to.