Pain in the neck and shoulder is encountered by everyone at some stage of their life. This pain can be mild or sharp, shooting pain. It may be accompanied by tingling or numbness in the arms. More commonly, it is caused by soft tissue injuries of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck and shoulder; pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy, and faulty postural habits. Mild cases can be treated with the following exercises after a thorough evaluation by your Physical Therapist.
- Chin tucks-Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and upper back pressed against a wall. Now pull the head back with chin tucked so that the head touches the wall. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat ten times.
- Shoulder rotations-Stand with your arms by your sides. Lift your shoulders and roll them forward in a circular motion ten times and then ten times in the backward direction.
- Shoulder retractions and pull-downs– Hold your hands behind your back and then pull your shoulders back and down. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat five times.
- Wall angles– Stand with your back flat against a wall. Now, move your arms out to create a T-shape against the wall. Then bend your elbows at an angle of 90-degrees. Lastly, move your arms up and down while staying flat against the wall. Repeat ten times.
- Child pose of yoga-Get down on your hands and knees on the floor, with knees just under the hips. From this position, sit on your heels, and then outreach your arms with hands and forearms touching the ground. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat three times.
- Posterior capsule stretch-In the standing position, lift one arm in front of your body and move it across your body. Apply gentle pressure on the upper arm, just above the elbow, from your other hand until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat five times.
A sudden, unexplained neck and shoulder pain needs immediate medical attention and must be evaluated for angina.
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