Stretching exercises for neck and shoulder pain

Neck and shoulder pain are the most common issues that our clients require treatment for. Stress, incorrect posture, chronic tension, and even a bad pillow or mattress are some of the many causes of this nasty problem. Cold weather also contributes to triggering this condition, as we tend to brace ourselves in a cold draft, shrinking our shoulders and neck, and contracting them in uncomfortable ways.

Massage therapy is undoubtedly the most efficient remedy to heal and prevent neck and shoulder pain from reoccurring, but what can we do to get relief and maintain the benefits of massage between treatments?

Our team in Fulham listed below some great stretching exercises that can be performed easily at home, or anywhere we can get a few minutes just for ourselves:

  • 1) The door frame stretch  chest stretch

This stretching exercise is very useful in giving relief to shoulder tension and helps them feel better by restoring correct posture. You simply need to stand in an open doorway, raise your arms up to the side, straight or bent at 90 degrees with palms forward (this will depend on the width of the door), and hold the sides stretching out your chest for 30-60 seconds of deeper breathing. You can repeat this exercise up to three times per day, which will help lengthen your pectoral muscles and open your chest/shoulders. If a door frame is not available, the stretching can be performed on a corner between two walls, a lamp post, or any vertical post.

  • 2) 3-dimensional neck stretching

To get a full stretch of the neck muscles and tendons, our team recommends three easy movements: bending your ear to the shoulder, bending your ear to the shoulder looking down, and bending your ear to the shoulder looking up. Each of these stretches, held for 30 seconds of deeper breathing and repeated on both sides, will work effectively to lengthen and make the neck fibers less tight. An extra tip is to do neck stretching in a sauna or steam room, or during a hot shower: the heat will facilitate muscle relaxation and will help get rid of the pain.  

  • neck stretch 1neck stretch 2neck stretch 3         











  • neck B3) Neck stretching with arm rotation

This exercise is like the previous one, with the addition of a simple movement as sometimes static stretching is not enough. You can either rotate your head to one side or bring your ear to the shoulder, then you stretch your arm down and start moving it in a circular motion, both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Like before, this stretching needs to be performed on each side.     

  • 4) Shoulder rolls3Shoulder-Shrugs.jpg

Another dynamic stretching exercise is the shoulder roll: while sitting or standing with a straight back, you roll your shoulders up, back, and down ten times, then you roll them up, forward and down for other ten times. This exercise will help soften the tension in the shoulders, improving mobility and flexibility. 

  • 5) Wall stretching

WALL STRETCHINGThis stretching exercise will help the shoulder area, as well as the back, to relax and lengthen. Standing in front of a wall, bring your arms up keeping them straight and bend until you reach a 90 degrees angle, and you can touch the wall with the palm of your hands. Maintain this position for 30 seconds, slightly bending one knee per time for an extra side stretch. The same exercise can also be performed on a table or a bar, providing they are at the right height.

We hope that you found this article useful and, if you would like to know more about the benefits of massage therapy and further aftercare tips, please do not hesitate to contact us: our team in Fulham will be happy to help!

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