Neck-Stretches

Neck Stretches

More Shoulder and Neck Stretches!

 

Winter has arrived. With this cooler weather we are already seeing a lot more patients at the clinic with neck and shoulder stiffness. Hunching up the shoulders is a natural response to bracing yourself for cold weather, it is also a common postural pattern related to neck and shoulder pain.

Moving and stretching the shoulders is a great way to reduce a build up in tension and prevent or relieve neck stiffness.

Along with the Thoracic Towel stretch, here are our go to stretches for avoiding a cold weather induced stiff neck.

 

Shoulder Rolls:

  • Start by sitting or standing with a nice long spine.
  • Take a deep breath in and as you do lift your shoulders forwards and up towards your ears
  • As you breath out squeeze the shoulders down and back along your spine
  • Continue with this movement for 10 deep breaths
  • At the end of the last breath try to maintain the squeeze down and back on the shoulders.
  • This is a great exercise to perform a few times throughout the day- especially if you find yourself hunching up those shoulders.

 

Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae stretches:

 

Our Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae Muscles both attach to the base of the skull then they travel down and attach to the tip of each shoulder (trapezius) and the the inside border of the shoulder blade (levator scapulae)  – they are the muscles responsible for lifting and hunching our shoulders, so it’s no wonder they can become tight and sore as we brace ourselves in the cold weather outside.

 

  • Start standing or in a seated position with a nice long spine.
  •  If sitting, tuck your left hand under your left thigh, if standing reach your left fingertips towards the floor.
  • Take your right hand, place it on your head and gently pull your ear towards your right shoulder and hold.
  • Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Then look down to the floor angling your head to your right arm pit.
  • Gently pull down so that your nose points into the arm pit.
  • Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite shoulder

 

You should feel a gentle stretch along the back of your neck into your shoulder. No pain should be felt.

 

Exercise is often the best medicine for staying warm and pain free during winter. So why not rug up, do some shoulder rolls and upper neck stretching before heading out for 30 minutes of brisk exercise to warm up your muscles while helping to prevent neck stiffness this Winter!

Call (03) 9570 3388