4 Easy Stretches for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Flexion Stretch

  1. Keeping the shoulders back, bring the chin toward the chest by bending the head straight forward. A slight stretch will be felt in the back of the neck.
  2. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
    1. Lateral Flexion Stretch

      1. Start in an upright, standing position.
      2. Keeping the shoulders even, bring one ear toward the shoulder by bending the head to one side. A slight stretch will be felt in the side of the neck.
      3. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.

      Levator Scapula Stretch

      1. Stand straight, raise the right hand and elbow, and place it on a nearby wall or door jamb.
      2. While keeping everything else still, rotate the head to the left about 45° (which is about halfway toward the shoulder).
      3. Tilt the chin downward to the left collarbone until a good stretch is felt on the back right side of the neck.
      4. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, or as tolerated. Repeat on the other side.

      Corner Stretch

      1. Face the corner of a room or a doorway.
      2. Position both feet together, about 2 feet away from the corner.
      3. Place a forearm on each wall (or door jamb) with the elbows slightly below shoulder height.
      4. Lean forward until a good stretch is felt across the chest and shoulders. If any pain is felt, the stretch can be reduced or stopped altogether.
      5. Hold the stretch 30 to 60 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.

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