Reducing Neck and Shoulder Pain Part two: Stretching

Our work as massage therapists consists mostly of correcting body pain, pressure and tightness caused by improper posture – whether it’s caused by computer work or some other form of repetitive stress.  Over the years, we have acquired a couple of simple and effective stretches to help re-balance the neck, shoulder and chest area and stretch out the wrist and hands. These are a few of the many little things that you can do throughout the day to avoid falling victim to repetitive stress syndrome and/or carpal tunnel injury.

An all encompassing stretch

This simple stretch is great anytime, anywhere. Try it whenever you get up to use the restroom, take a break or grab a snack.

  • Stand straight up, shoulders relaxed arms down by your side with palms facing forward.
  • Chest up, like someone is pulling your breastbone up with a string
  • Pull your shoulder blades together like they are trying to touch each other and draw them towards the ground, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Hold this posture for count of 3
  • Relax
  • Start over and repeat until you’ve reached your destination

This easy neck and shoulder exercise stretches your pecs, puts your head and neck in proper alignment, engages your back muscles and sends a message to your upper shoulder muscles to relax.

By incorporating these few steps into your everyday activities, you can help keep yourself body aware and moving. The best thing – it’s quick and effective and doesn’t distract from your work.

In addition, deep tissue and trigger point massage can both be very effective ways to help with repetitive stress injuries. But you should know, any therapy lasts longer and is more permanent, if you do your part, maintaining your body by movement and awareness. Remember, we only visit your body every once in a while . . . you live there.

father and son shoulder pain-free
Freedom from neck and shoulder pain with stretch and massage

If you are having a hard time visualizing this exercise, ask for a demo on your next visit.

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