12 Effective Stretches to Relive the Tension in Your Neck and Shoulders

One of the most common problems that people usually face is neck and shoulder problems.  Many times you may have also woken up with a stiff neck by sleeping awkwardly. In several cases, stiff neck and shoulder pain are due to lifestyle and work where you may be required to work all day sitting at a desk. This lack of activity can cause a stiff neck and only some well thought up stretches and exercises can help you relive both the pain and the problem. Here are ten exercises and you need to be consistent in doing them for maximum relief.

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1Neck roll

The neck roll is a gentle stretch that relieves neck tension but pay attention to how you do it. If it pains you while doing so, stop it but if you know that there is no serious neck problem you can try it by not leaning your head too far over the bench and for few minutes only.

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How to do it

Liedown with your head just off the bed or a bench. Place a rolled towel at the base of your head. Now let your head lean back towards the floor and relax. Remain in this position for 10 minutes but if you do feel pain, stop it.

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2 Clasping neck stretch

The clasping neck stretch can be done sitting on a chair or a yoga mat on the floor. It helps you perform a deep stretch for the back of the neck. It relieves tension, increases circulation in the neck and also relaxes the upper back. This is also a gentle relaxing stretch.

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How to do it

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor, a chair or bed. Now place your hands behind your head and clasp your head. Pull on your bed gently by attempting to bring your chin towards your chest. Don’t do this too fast because stretches have to be done gently. By doing them too fast, you may end up worsening your problem. Remain in the position for 40 seconds.

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3 Lateral neck flexion stretch

The term flexion refers to the anterior movement of the neck or trunk so when the chin is against the chest, it means the head is flexed. Lateral flexion stretch is good for the muscles in the side of the neck. This is particularly good for stiff neck and problems like minor spondylitis.

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Here’s what to do

Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor or in a chair; Now take your right-hand and place it on top of your head. Now gently pull it towards your right with shoulders relaxed and back straight. Hold the position 30 to 40 seconds and then get your head back into the initial position. The repeat the exercise for the other side.

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4 Upper trapezius stretch

The upper trapezius stretch is done for both neck and shoulders. Just place your right arm behind you and clutch it with the left hand. Now pull the hand towards the left foot gently. Now try to tilt your left ear in the direction of your left shoulder. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat with the other side. This stretch can also be performed with your hands in front of you which helps stretch your trapezius more effectively form a different angle.

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