Many people struggle with chronic aches and pains in the neck and shoulder region, but there are steps you can take to improve or eliminate the discomfort. Use these simple exercises from an expert in the field, Dr. Katherine Rainey, lead Physical Therapist for Advanced Rehab Center, to strengthen the area and minimize pain.
- Be mindful when sitting—While driving, instead of adjusting the rear view mirror, adjust your posture. Sit tall and engage your core muscles to hold your spine upright. Do not let the seat hold you up or hang on the steering wheel.
- Stretch tight neck muscles in the car—Use your headrest as a buttress to push the back of your head against. At the same time, tuck your chin in. Your neck is filled with tight, locked up muscles and this gives them a nice stretch.
- Stretch tight muscles at your desk—While sitting at your desk, take breaks from typing to stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. Sit up tall at the edge of your seat and drop one ear toward your shoulder. Take that same side hand and gently pull your head further toward your shoulder, but be sure to keep your shoulder from shrugging up towards the ear. Opposite hand can hold onto the chair to add a deeper stretch. Hold for 30 seconds at a time, and perform on both sides a few times a day.
- Move more—Every hour, at minimum, get up and walk around your office, home, or classroom setting. Stand up tall, reach arms overhead, and extend backward to introduce a back bend. Then, reach side to side to add in some spinal rotations.
- Strengthen postural muscles in mid back—Throughout the day, squeeze your shoulder blades together while keeping your shoulders depressed. Hold this position for 10 seconds, 5 times in a row. Perform this multiple times a day.
Advanced Rehab Center (ARC) is Annapolis Athletic Club’s newest commitment to health and wellness, with highly-skilled practitioners offering innovative physical therapy treatments to keep you moving properly, without pain. Physical therapy could help you regain flexibility, joint range of motion, strength, endurance and balance, particularly after injury, illness, or surgery. Dr. Rainey is an avid runner and triathlete, and has a passion for injury prevention. Contact ARC to schedule your free physical therapy consultation.