When it comes to treating neck and shoulder pain, stiffness and discomfort, many people would rather seek treatment from a chiropractor than take pain killers and muscle relaxants. Medications like these simply mask the issue, while quality chiropractic care can deal directly with the causes of your problem. In addition to your chiropractic treatment performing stretches can help relieve the symptoms of neck and shoulder pain.
You may be able to help manage neck and shoulder issues by incorporating a few basic stretching exercises into your daily routine that are quick, easy and do not require gym equipment.
The neck is an area that is often exposed to minor and major injury. Falls, car accidents, awkward posture and aging can result in chronic stiffness and pain. Chiropractors are often able to adjust the neck and restore some of your natural mobility. But addressing the area on a daily basis can go a long way toward pain reduction and increased flexibility.
Here are a few stretches you can do to keep free neck movement.
Chin to chest: Lower your chin forward. Reach back and put your hands on the back of your head. Gently apply and hold soft forward pressure for 10 to 15 seconds to feel a relaxing stretch of the muscles in your rear neck. Do not exert force. This is meant to be a gentle stretch.
Arch Back: Lean your head backwards to the point that you feel comfortable. This is a free stretch and does not require pressure. Hold in the rear position for a 10 to 15 second stretch of your frontal neck muscles.
Side to side: Rotate your head to the left without pressure. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, and then repeat the process to the right.
Lean: Stretch your head toward your shoulder laterally while keeping the shoulder steady and straight. You’re trying to stretch the muscles in your neck, so moving the shoulder is counter-productive. Do this for both sides of the neck and hold in a stretched position for 10 to 15 seconds each.
The shoulders are complex areas comprised of tendons, tissues, muscle and bone. We rigorously use our shoulders in daily life and they can sustain injury through impact and heavy lifting.
Here are some simple stretches you can perform to lessen chronic shoulder stiffness and discomfort:
Skyward Stretch: Bring your hands outward and up over your head and clasp hands at the top. Hold for 15 seconds. Then slowly lower your arms making a wide circle as you bring them down.
Rolling: Another simple movement is rolling the shoulders three times front to back and then back to front. Make nice big circles to maximize the stretch.
Simple stretching exercising are good methods to reduce stiffness and general discomfort in the neck and shoulder regions. It’s important to consult with a chiropractor before adopting any of these stretching techniques.
Remember, stop and discontinue any movement that causes you pain or feels uncomfortable in any way, and check with a chiropractor or other qualified medical professional.
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