3. 60-Second Fix
This quick massage easily brings relief to neck and shoulder pain, and muscle tension (4). All you need is your hands!
- Find the sore spot using the arm on the same of your body as your pain. If it’s on the right side of your neck or upper back, place your right hand on the area and vice-versa.
- Push your fingers into the knot using firm pressure. It should be a good hurt that you can tolerate, not a sharp pain. If you can’t quite reach, use a tennis ball and lean against the wall.
- Turn your head slightly in the direction opposite the cramp, and bend it as if you were trying to touch your armpit with your chin.
- Repeat about 20 times in a row. Follow up with a nice, long, just-got-out-of-bed style stretch.
- Repeat throughout the day as necessary.
4. Static Back Exercise
This exercise loosens up tight shoulder to release the muscles connected to your neck. This is a great passive way to loosen up those knots!
- Lie on the floor with your legs on a chair or ottoman, with both your knees and hips at a ninety-degree angle.
- Place your arms on the floor with your palms up.
- Stay here until your back settles into the floor, typically 5-10 min.
Bonus: this same position works wonders on lower back pain!
5. Static Extension Position Exercise
This stretch might feel like you’re going deeper into your bad posture, but it works! By hanging your head in front of you in this position, you are literally unlocking your shoulder girdle, which can get stuck in an awkward place. However, it is challenging and you’ll feel it in more than just your neck.
- Start on the ground on all fours, with your wrists under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips.
- Walk your hands out in front of you about six inches, then shift your body forward so your shoulders stack right over your wrists. Your hips should now be about six inches in front of your knees.
- Keep your elbows locked out straight, and allow your shoulder blades to collapse together.
- Let your head hang, relax your stomach, and allow your low back to arch.
- Hold for 2 minutes, and don’t let your elbows bend.