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Stretches for Neck & Shoulder

Stretching can help prevent injuries and treat injuries that already exist. When performed correctly, stretching promotes flexibility which is the primary factor in reducing the risk of injury. Besides being a great aid to injury prevention, stretching can speed recovery from injuries and enhance athletic performance.

Neck stretches can be done while standing, sitting or while lying down, and can alleviate neck pain if done properly.

 

Neck Stretch – The Trap Stretch
How to do the trap stretch for neck pain relief:

  1. Sit, stand or lie on you back with arms at your sides

  2. Side bend-(laterally flex) the head to one side and tip the ear to the opposite shoulder in a pain free range of movement

  3. With the opposite hand, slowly begin shrugging (lifting the shoulder towards the ear) and hold for 15 seconds then lower the shoulder to the floor.

  4. Repeat the exact same neck exercise on the opposite side. It’s best to try and do 2 sets of 15 seconds each side at least twice each day but there’s really no real sensible limit so it can be done as often as you can fit it in.
     

Neck Exercise – Cervical Spine Extension

How to do the cervical spine (neck) extension exercise for pain relief:

  1. Sit, stand or lie on the floor with both arms stretched down by your side

  2. Push both shoulders down

  3. Tuck the chin into the chest

  4. Extend the head back slightly while elevating the chin to the ceiling, still keeping the arms down and back

  5. Hold that position for 15 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and repeat

 

We ask a lot from our shoulders, including having the strength and flexibility to reach, lift, hold, carry, press and pull. With all this activity, it’s unsurprising that we experience some degree of shoulder discomfort in our life. If shoulder pain is left untreated, however, it can become a chronic problem that can inhibit everyday activities like carrying groceries, getting dressed or combing your hair.

Some of the most effective exercises and stretches to relieve shoulder pain at home are:

Shoulder Exercise – Pendulum
How to do the pendulum exercise:

  1. Start by leaning over and supporting your non-injured arm with a table or chair.

  2. Allow the sore arm to dangle straight down and then draw circles in the air.

  3. The circles should start out small but gradually grow, and you should also reverse direction periodically.

  4. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times throughout the day.
     

Shoulder Exercise – Arm across the chest

  1. Hold your right hand out in front of your body, keeping it near the waist.

  2. Reach the left hand behind the elbow while pulling the right arm to the left and across the chest.

  3. Lower the arm until the pain lessens. Hold in this position for 30 to 50 seconds and then release.

  4. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times

 

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