Do you find yourself experiencing neck and shoulder pain after a long day at your home workstation? Are you asking your kids or partner for a backrub, or taking a couple of pain relievers to soothe your aches and pains? Our in-house Massage Therapist, Zoe Luc, is also a certified yoga instructor and suggests the following yoga stretches for neck pain relief.
Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
The fish pose is excellent for opening up your chest and relaxing the neck flexors and shoulders. To perform it, lay flat on your back with your legs either extended straight out or knees bent. Arch your back and bend your arms so your elbows are propping you up, and your head stays on the floor.
Take several deep breaths in this pose and feel the great stretch across your chest
Modification: Use a yoga block or foam roller to support the arch in your back.
Note: This pose is not recommended for people with high blood pressure.
Cat / Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana / Bitilasana)
This is a simple stretch for neck pain you’ll want to do again and again. Begin on your hands and knees with your spine in a neutral position.
While taking a deep breath in, tuck your tailbone in and slowly curl your back towards the ceiling, finishing with your neck hanging loosely to the ground. As you exhale, reverse the curve in your spine so your belly reaches towards the ground and you’re looking up to the sky. Really concentrate on moving one vertebra at a time to maximize the feeling of elongating your back.
Repeat 3 – 5 times (or more – it feels great).
Modification: If you’re not comfortable on your hands and knees, you can practice flexing your spine forward and back from a sitting position as well.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is a wonderful standing stretch you can do any time of day. It will make you more aware of your posture and the alignment of your spine.
To perform Mountain pose, stand up straight with your feet hip width apart, your shoulders down and your hands open to the front. Rotate your entire arm from the shoulder, this will help to open your chest muscles.
Take several deep breaths and be mindful of how your feet are rooted to the floor – do you feel balanced? Are you tipping to one side? Adjust your pose until you feel strong and tall like Mount Everest.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
This is another kneeling post that provides a deep back and shoulder stretch while opening the chest and relaxing your neck muscles. It’s almost like doing an inversion without actually having to go upside down.
This is considered an intermediate pose, and should not be done by those with spinal injuries.
To perform camel pose, kneel on the ground with your arms by your sides. Lean to one side and grasp your ankle with the hand on the same side. Lean to the other side and grasp your other ankle, again with the same hand. You may need to sit back on your heels slightly to do this. Then, extend your arms and arch your back, relaxing your neck and letting your head hang straight back. You’ll feel a wonderful openness in your chest. Because your head is down, you may feel lightheaded if you hold the pose too long. Take caution getting out of this pose! A great counter stretch (since you’re already on your knees) is to transition into Cat / Cow.
If you can’t reach your ankles, you can modify this pose by placing your hands on your lower back while arching your back.
Need Help with Neck Pain?
Struggling with chronic neck pain while working from home? Adding a stretching routine is a great start. You may also want to check out our recent blog on setting up a healthy workstation at home. Of course, our team at Brightpath Health & Wellness is ready to help whenever you need. We offer Registered Massage Therapy in North York. An effective relief for Neck Pain and we provide you custom tips on prevention strategies.
Disclaimer: The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers prior to starting any new exercise routine to ensure it is safe for you.