MPH Blog

Neck & Shoulder Stretches to Relieve Tension

Neck and Shoulder Stretches to Relieve Tension

For anyone working in an office or other sedentary job, neck and shoulder tension is a chronic problem. It’s no surprise either that sitting for a minimum of eight hours a day has a negative effect on your body and your posture. Tension can be prevented by getting up and moving around every half hour, staying hydrated, and sitting with proper posture. However, in the midst of the daily grind, it’s difficult to remember all these things before muscle pain sets in. Stretching can greatly improve your physical state at work. Think of it as resetting your body every day when you come home. The following neck and shoulder stretches may help you relieve painful tension.

Seated Neck Release

This stretch focuses on the sides of your neck and gently pulls your neck back into alignment.

  • Sit on the floor with crisscrossed legs or in a chair with your feet on the ground
  • Extend your right arm at a 45-degree angle by your side
  • Put your left hand on your head and slowly tilt your head to the left
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side

For a deeper stretch, gently pull your head to the side with your hand.

Behind the Back Neck Stretch

This stretch also focuses on the sides of your neck.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Reach both hands behind you and hold your left wrist with your right hand
  • Gently straighten your left arm and pull it slightly away from your body
  • Slowly lower your right ear towards your shoulder
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides

The behind the back neck stretch can easily be done anywhere, even at work!

Grounded Tipover Tuck

Both your neck and shoulders are targeted in this stretch.

  • Begin in child’s pose, touching your shins and forehead to the floor.
  • Stay here for a few seconds and take deep breaths
  • Pull your hands behind your back and intertwine your fingers
  • Slowly lift your hands as high as you can
  • Shift your weight forward and lift your hips off your heels
  • Rest on your head and extend your hands as far as you can
  • Hold for 10 seconds, lower your hips back to your heels
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then raise them again
  • Continue for five cycles

This is a relaxing, yet energizing pose for when you come home after a long day.

Corner Stretch

This basic exercise yields huge results in stretching neck, chest, and shoulder muscles.

  • Stand two feet from the wall, facing a corner
  • Place your feet together
  • Put your forearms on either corner wall
  • Line your elbows up just below your shoulders
  • Lean in as far as possible without pain
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds

This stretch is easy and can be done 3 to 5 times daily.

Static Back

This exercise allows your back, shoulder, and neck muscles the chance to release built up tension.

  • Lie on the floor with your legs on a chair
  • Make sure your hips and knees are at 90 degrees
  • Place your arms on the floor outstretched and palms up
  • Slide your arms to a 90-degree angle with your shoulders
  • Stay 5-10 minutes until your back settles into the floor

This position allows your head to come back in alignment with the rest of your spine.

Don’t let a desk job turn you into a hunched over Neanderthal. By stretching during the work day and when you get home, you may be able to see improvements in posture and muscle pain.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.