Here are some home remedies to ease the tension and alleviate the pain that you are feeling on your neck and on your shoulders. These are quick and simple stretches and exercises that you can do at home without the need for any special equipment.
- Lie down on your side and bend your knees in front of your hips.
- Put your hands over your ears with your elbows parallel to each other and directly in front of you.
- Inhale while moving the outer elbow until it reaches the ceiling. Your gaze should be towards the ceiling.
- Exhale while moving the outer elbow to the other side until it touches the floor. Make sure that your knees are still stacked and resting on the floor despite the twisting of the upper body.
- Stay in that position and do a full inhale and exhale.
- Inhale once again and exhale while going back to the starting position.
- Do 5 repetitions of this per side.
Static Extension Position
- Start on all fours, putting your wrists directly under your shoulders, and keeping your knees planted directly under your hips and your feet hip-width apart, maintaining a long flat back.
- Spread your fingers so that your palms are pressing the floor.
- Do a full inhale and exhale.
- Move your hands forward for about 6 inches and then move your body forward too so that the shoulders stack directly above your wrists. The hips should now be 6 inches in front of the knees.
- Keep the elbows locked out straight and let your shoulder blades collapse together.
- Let your head hang to allow your neck to release in this position.
- Relax the stomach and allow the lower back to arch.
- Hold this position for 2 minutes making sure that the elbows don’t bend.
Downward Dog on the Wall
- Stand to face the wall.
- Plant your hands on the wall the same level as your waist.
- Walk your feet back until it is planted directly under your hips and your back is straight and flat.
- Lift your tail bones towards the ceiling while you press your hands on the wall.
- The legs should be straight but you can allow the knees to be slightly bent if you feel too much pressure on your hamstrings.
- Hold this for six deep breaths while focusing on lengthening the spine and opening the chest.
- Start by sitting on the floor resting the middle part of your back on a foam roller or something similar to it such as a rolled-up bath towel.
- Put your hands on the back of your head for support and keep your elbows wide.
- Make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the floor.
- Inhale and take deep breaths.
- Exhale while slowly and gently extending your spine, neck, and head over the roller as far as you can. Your head doesn’t necessarily need to touch the floor. What matters is that you feel the stretch on your abdominals, chest, and upper back. Make sure that you don’t feel any discomfort in your lower back while doing this.
- Hold this position and inhale.
- Exhale and slowly go back to the starting position using your abdominals to help carry your upper body.
- Do 3 to 5 repetitions of this exercise.
Cat-Cow Pose / Stretch
- Start on all fours, putting your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees planted directly under your hips keeping your legs hip-width apart, maintaining a long flat back and keeping your neck long and leaving your head in a neutral position while gazing downward.
- Spread your fingers so that your palms are pressing the floor. Point the fingertips at the top of the mat. The sheens and knees should be hip-width apart.
- Inhale as you tilt your pelvis back and gently drop the belly towards the floor while keeping the elbows intact and drawing your navel in. Lift your chest and chin without cranking your neck while gazing up towards the ceiling. (Cow Pose)
- Exhale while drawing the belly to the spine and curling your back toward the ceiling. (Cat Pose)
- Move your gaze towards the floor.
- Go back to cow pose while inhaling and then to the cat pose while exhaling.
- Do this for 5 to 20 repetitions.
These are effective exercises and stretches for neck and shoulder pain which are very common conditions especially for those who have a job that requires them to either stand or sits down for about 8 to 12 hours a day. These are quick remedies to ease the neck and shoulder pain but the best cure is still prevention.
You can prevent having neck and shoulder pain by maintaining a good posture. You should always be conscious of your posture even if no one is watching. People tend to slouch or curb their backs when they are sitting down. Not sitting or standing properly would definitely cause neck and shoulder pain as it would destroy the natural lining of your spine.
Another thing to watch out for is your sleeping habits. Lie on your back or on your side making sure that your head is not bent or tilted. Avoid lying on your stomach as this can cause neck and shoulder pain.
By simply doing these things, you can minimize or even totally avoid experiencing neck and shoulder pain.