Neck pain? 3 stretches to remedy your poor posture. Part 2 of 3
Try These 3 Stretches to Relieve Your Pain
If you could get rid of that pain in the neck, you would right? Of course, it’s a no brainer. While getting rid of that pesky co-worker who contributes to your pain, may prove to be a bit harder, relieving your neck pain due to muscle tightness and poor posture is definitely possible. Structural and neurological imbalances and interferences most often require the intervention of a professional, such as a chiropractor, muscular tension pain relief can be actually quite simple. This article goes over three simple movements to stretch the tightened muscles you learned about in the Neck Pain Part 1 blog, and if you haven’t read it yet or missed it, here is a quick recap.
In part 1 of this series from your Friendswood Chiropractor, we talked about how Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS) contributes to pain due to poor posture. In part 2 of this series we will be discussing three great stretches to address your posture and help decrease some of the pain that is associated with it. For a quick review we will go over the muscles that need to be stretched and contribute to your neck pain.
Stretches to fix Upper back and Neck pain
1. Upper trapezius muscles
Your upper trapezius muscles originate at the base of your skull as well as all of your neck bones, and it insert at the tip of your shoulder. This muscle allows you the shrug your shoulders and raise your arms over head.
2. Levator Scapula muscles
This muscle originates to the sides of the top 4 vertebrae in your neck, and inserts on the top inner portion of your shoulder blade. This muscle allows you to shrug your shoulders and to rotate your shoulder blade. Tightness and spasm of this muscle frequently causes pain and headaches.
3. Pectoral Muscles
Originate on your chest bone and clavicle, then attach on the outer portion of your upper arm bone. This muscle allows you to push objects, roll your shoulders forward, and move your arms in front of you across your chest. When this muscle becomes tight it causes the shoulders to roll forward excessively and contributes to UCS and neck pain.
Now that we have reviewed the muscles involved you should have a decent understanding of what needs to be stretched and why. Below are a few example of how the stretches should look and a quick description on how to perform them.
Doorway Pectoral Stretch
Begin by standing at the doorway, place the forearm on the outside of the doorway. Keep elbow at shoulder height and your chest and head upright; eyes forward.
Step forward with whichever foot you are more comfortable which (it does not matter) and let the arm and forearm stay back against the doorframe. As you do that, you will feel stretch through the chest or that pec muscle we identified. Do this stretch once a day, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening, for maximum benefit.
Seated Upper Trapezius Stretch
Choose the side you are going to stretch and tuck that arm behind your back, forming a 90 degree angle (the back of your hand will rest on your lower spine.) Keeping your hand in this position, sit up nice and tall, and slowly tilt your head to the opposite side, moving your ear toward your shoulder.
Once there, you can take the other hand and apply slight pressure to activate more of a stretch. (Never pull to the point of pain) You should feel the stretch right through the side of the neck going down toward the top of the shoulder.
Repeat the same action on the opposite side with your other arm behind your back.
Seated Levator Scapula Stretch
You approach this stretch the same way as the previous one. Right arm goes behind the back, sit up nice and tall, start the same way as the upper trap stretch, ear to the shoulder.
The difference with this stretch will be that once you get as far you can with your ear to your shoulder, begin to turn your nose down toward the armpit of the side you are leaning to. Then apply slight pressure, once again. Hold the stretch for 30-45 seconds.
For more in depth information and a video tutorial on these stretches make sure to check out the video attached. With consistency and practice, these stretches should provide you a lot of relief from pain and tension in the neck. Make sure to join our growing Forever Well community on Facebook or leave a comment below.
Dr. Haywood, D.C.
Forever Well Chiropractic