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Stretching for Pain Relief - Shoulder & Neck Pain

Posted by Simeon Niel Asher on

Trigger points are common in all the main shoulder muscles. In fact just about all of us have latent trigger points, usually as a result of poor posture .... one of those simple things that they used to teach in schools but has long ago vanished.

Failure to work on your posture and to take simple steps to promote shoulder health will often (increasingly often) lead to active trigger points, and a whole host of potential musculoskeletal injuries as you get older.

So if you spend anything like the time that you probably do leaning over a laptop, tablet, or adapting your body to talk on a mobile, take note of these simple stretches. 10 minutes a day could save you a whole lot of trigger point bother further down the road ...

 

 

TECHNIQUE

Stand with your arm out and your forearm pointing upwards at 90 degrees. Place a broomstick in your hand and behind your elbow. With your other hand pull the bottom of the broomstick forward.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Pectoralis major. Subscapularis. Teres major.

Secondary muscle: Pectoralis minor. Anterior deltoid.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Dislocation. Subluxation. Acromioclavicular separation. Sternoclavicular separation. Impingement syndrome. Rotator cuff tendonitis. Shoulder bursitis. Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Many people are very tight in the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. Perform this stretch very slowly to start with and use extreme caution at all times.

 

TECHNIQUE

Reach behind your head with both hands and your elbows pointing upwards. Then reach down your back with your hands.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Triceps brachii.

Secondary muscles: Latissimus dorsi. Teres major and Teres minor.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Elbow sprain. Elbow dislocation. Elbow bursitis. Triceps tendon rupture.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Do not perform for an extended period of time, as circulation is restricted in the shoulder during this stretch.

  

 

TECHNIQUE

Stand with your arms out in front and crossed over. Push your hands forward as far as possible and let your head fall forward.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Trapezius. Rhomboids.

Secondary muscles: Semispinalis capitis and cervicis. Spinalis capitis and cervicis. Longissimus capitis and cervicis. Splenius capitis and cervicis.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Neck muscle strain. Whiplash (neck sprain). Cervical nerve stretch syndrome. Wry neck (acute torticollis). Upper back muscle strain. Upper back ligament sprain.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Concentrate on reaching forward with your hands and separating your shoulder-blades.

 

 

 

TECHNIQUE

Place one hand behind your back and then reach up between your shoulder-blades.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Supraspinatus. Infraspinatus.

Secondary muscles: Pectoralis major. Teres minor. Anterior deltoid. Coracobrachialis.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Dislocation. Subluxation. Acromioclavicular separation. Sternoclavicular separation. Impingement syndrome. Rotator cuff tendonitis. Shoulder bursitis. Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Many people are very tight in the rotator muscles of the shoulder. Perform this stretch very slowly to start with and use extreme caution at all times.

 

 

 

TECHNIQUE

Stand with your knees bent. Cross your arms over and grab the back of your knees. Then start to rise upwards until you feel tension in your upper back and shoulders.

MUSCLES BEING STRETCHED

Primary muscles: Trapezius. Rhomboids. Latissimus dorsi.

Secondary muscle: Teres minor.

INJURY WHERE STRETCH MAY BE USEFUL

Dislocation. Subluxation. Acromioclavicular separation. Sternoclavicular separation. Impingement syndrome. Rotator cuff tendonitis. Shoulder bursitis. Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PERFORMING THIS STRETCH CORRECTLY

Keep your shoulders level to the ground and avoid twisting or turning to one side.

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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 

 

 


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  • Excellent and informative article. The illustrations and descriptions are simple enough to be able to direct clients to the article whilst also containing the more in depth information required by the therapist. Great balance, thanks

    Deirdre on

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