June 2, 2017 (Updated Feb 15, 2021)
If you’ve been suffering from neck pain and headaches for an extended period, it’s very likely that your posture is a major contributing factor.
And while there are many factors to consider when trying to eliminate headaches, reducing the tension in the muscles surrounding your neck and shoulder blades is an excellent place to start.
In today’s blog, I’m going to share 5 simple stretches that you can perform in the comfort of your own home to help you start to loosen up these tight muscles and reduce your neck pain and headaches.
Before I get into the stretches, let’s talk about why these muscles are so tight to begin with… (if you want more details on postural headaches, click here to view the first blog post in this series).
Many of us spend long hours sitting at work and at home, often times in front of a computer screen.
Over time, this leads to what we PTs call a “forward head” posture.
As your lower back slouches, your mid-back and neck both follow suit, and your head ends up basically sliding forward.
This leads to more of a forward-flexed position of the lower neck, accompanied by an extended position of the upper neck near the base of the skull.
This posture also typically features rounding of the shoulders.
Over a prolonged period, you’re going to see 2 things:
- Some muscles are shortened, and
- Other muscles are lengthened
Typically, it’s the shortened muscles that we really worry about, because as the muscles get tighter they can cause pain, especially when the muscles at the base of your skull start to compress local the nerves.
So in the video below, I’m going to show you 5 simple stretches to start loosening up these muscles, which will ultimately help you ease the pain in your neck and reduce the likelihood of a headache.
The 5 stretches in the video include:
- Chin Tucks
- Shoulder Blade Squeezes (aka scapular retraction)
- Scalene Stretches
- Upper Trap Stretches
- Foam Roller Stretches
I hope these 5 stretches help you start relieving your neck pain and/or headaches!
– Luke Gordon, DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy/Owner of Gordon Physical Therapy)
P.S. If you’re sick of dealing with neck pain and headaches and want more information to help start eliminating them immediately, click here for immediate access to my FREE REPORT titled the “7 Best Kept Secrets for Eliminating Neck Pain (and Migraine Headaches)… and Staying Pain Free!”
Monday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Gordon Physical Therapy - Spokane Valley, WA
626 North Mullan Road #4, Spokane Valley, WA 99206
© 2023 Gordon Physical Therapy