Six exercises to alleviate shoulder and neck tension

When it comes to shoulder and neck discomfort - being gentle is key.  The shoulder joint has many bones joining together in a small area.  The scapula, clavicle and humerus all connect to form your shoulder joint, which attaches to the cervical spine through muscle attachments.  In short, there are a lot of moving parts!  This allows a lot of mobility in our shoulders and neck.  However, there is also high potential for mis-alignment and dis-comfort.  The more moving parts, the more potential for dysfunction.

Many nerves and sensitive tissues run through the cervical spine (neck).  If these nerves get pinched it can cause pain and problems in other areas.  Consider what would happen if you pinched the cord for your cell phone charger every day thousands of times.  And speaking of cell phones or smart phones rather - - - these are major culprits of neck tension because of the way we hold our head when looking at them.  Be cautious of the position of your neck, it also has a lot of mobility, but isn't designed to hold extreme positions for lengths of time.

Shortly after finishing graduate school I had a forward-head posture and a lot of tension in my spine.  A chiropractor educated me on simple and small movements.  These exercises help increase blood flow, loosen tension and re-establish better movement in the neck and shoulders.

Try doing 5-10 of these daily.  You can pair them with another common activity to help you remember.  I do them every time I stop at a traffic light.  Remember to breathe.

Remember to make these movements small and gentle!

REMEMBER to make these movement SMALL and GENTLE ! ! !

1) Roll your shoulders forward and backward.

2) Elevate and Depress your shoulders (lift and lower).

3) Rotate your head left and right.

4) Move your ear toward your shoulder (carefully like a flower stem).

5) Bring your chin to you clavicle (collar bone) alternating sides.

6) Relax your jaw and count to 30.

If you find this helpful, please share it with someone you know.  

Leave a comment below with any other great exercises or stretches for the neck and shoulders!

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