Relieve Neck & Shoulder Pain with these Simple Stretches
Common Causes of Neck Pain
There are several possible causes of neck pain. Some common causes include:
- Muscle Strain or Sprain: This can be caused by poor posture, overuse of the neck muscles, or sudden movements.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: This is a condition where the discs in the neck wear down over time, leading to pain and stiffness.
- Pinched Nerve: This occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed, often due to a herniated disc or bone spur.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the neck, causing pain and stiffness.
- Whiplash: This is a type of injury that occurs when the neck is suddenly jerked back and forth, often in a car accident or sports injury.
- Poor Posture: Spending extended periods of time with poor posture can lead to neck pain.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause neck pain as a symptom.
Breathing Exercises to Relieve Neck Pain Tension
The very first thing to do is to start with some breathing exercises to relax and release tension throughout the body. I like to combine a 4-7-8- Breathing Technique with Breathing Visualization and Frosted Peppermint Aromatherapy.
Relieve Neck Tension with a Salt Stone Massage
Next, apply On the Mend balm to head, neck, and chest then take the salt stone and massage it in.
- Start from behind your ear and massage down toward the heart.
- Place your other hand on your chest and slightly pull in opposition to work into the stretch.
- Don’t forget the back of your neck, at the base of your skull and all different sides of your neck as well.
Next, continue with some Restisted Stretching Techniques with the Stretch Strap or sturdy band.
- Place your thumbs into the loopholes.
- Bringing your elbows right by your side, take a big deep breath.
- Exhale, as you look from left to right, and stretch the neck from side to side.
- Act as if you’re pulling the strap apart and hold for about 3 to 5 counts, relax, realign, and repeat on the other side.
Play around here and have fun with different angles and just make sure that you're resisting and pulling, resisting and pulling, and stretching in opposition instead of only pulling in one direction.
Standing Stretches are a good way to activate different angles of the shoulders and neck.
Warm up achy muscles and joints with On the Mend balm and a few standing stretches to relieve neck tension, and increase shoulder mobility.
Around the World Stretches: Start with an easy warm-up by placing your hand into the stretch strap loops and placing your left foot forward in a split stance movement.
Start to raise the arms above your head in a gentle, rocking, fluid movement - stopping at the point you feel a little resistance. Hold here and give a ‘pull’ from side to side making sure your feet are planted on the ground and stable.
- Try a split stance and different foot positions to work into different angles.
I love to finish the set with some posterior shoulder work and upper back stretches with Bow and Arrow and Grapevine Arms.
Place your thumbs in the loops and place the strap behind your head. Give a gliding movement with the strap behind your head and repeat from left to right... in different angles, in a Bow & Arrow type movement.
You’ll definitely want to release tension and hands, wrists, and forearms after this. I like to finish up with his exercise called Swimming Thru Air and adding wrist circles and hand stretches.
Yogis will recognize this next exercise as Eagle Pose, but I like to think of it as a Grapevine, growing, reaching up to the sky while still staying grounded.
- Start by placing your left arm over your right and reach up to the sky- elongating through shoulders and front part of the body.
Finishing with an easy Tai Chi Flow is a great way to fully relax and let the tension dissipate from shoulders and neck.
Try it for yourself and feel the tension melt away.
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