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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

3-Minute Easy Exercise for Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief

3-Minute Easy Exercise for Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief

Have you ever caught yourself slouching at work? You realize, seemingly out of nowhere, that you could lift your upper body about four inches just by straightening your back and think, “hmm, is that why my neck is so sore?”

Tight muscles are a fact of life; we try to massage a knot out of our shoulder while we watch TV after a long day at work, but the pain just doesn’t go away.

The pain affects your life from day to night

Most of us have desk jobs that require a lot of screen time. All that computer work can lead to some real discomfort with shoulder and neck pains. No matter how much you shift around in your chair, you can’t quite find a long-term solution, and you’re not being productive any longer because you’re so focused on your muscle pain.

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Other times the pain can become so severe that you may try to take a painkiller to alleviate it. But that’s only a short term solution, and certainly not a very healthy one. And after all that discomfort through the day, it’s challenging to then rest peacefully because you can’t find a suitable position to alleviate the soreness. You wake up the next morning feeling tired and even more sore…it’s a vicious and miserable cycle.

Exercise for neck and shoulder pain

Thankfully, Dr. Marshall Bronstein, DC, a chiropractic provider, has recommended a three minute workout routine to reduce neck and shoulder pain. Not surprisingly, this exercise is best for professionals who find themselves cooped up in an office day in and day out, using computers and keyboards for extended periods of time. Existing in the same position for extended hours can really lock up and contract certain muscle groups. These exercises can help to relieve it.

1. Shoulder rolls ten times back

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    Make circles with the shoulders, 10 times backward and 10 times forward.

    2. Palms up palms up

    Roll your shoulder where your hands are pointing up 10 times.

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      3. Scarecrow

      This brings in a little bit of round Boyd’s. Notice the elbows are in the same position and the arms rotate 10 times.

        4. Stretching for the neck

        A forward sustained hold. The chin goes to the chest, hand helps pull turn your head and when you get the tender areas, stop and work those.

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          5. Back forward stretch

          In a seated position, fold your hands behind your head as if about to do a crunch. Curl forward, rounding out the back.

            Check out Dr. Marshall Bronstein, DC full video about the 3-minute neck and shoulder pain relief here.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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            Samantha Aloysius

            Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

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            Last Updated on January 11, 2021

            The Best Way to Sleep to Relieve the 7 Most Common Ailments

            The Best Way to Sleep to Relieve the 7 Most Common Ailments

            We sleep for about 9,000 days or 210,000 hours throughout our lifetime, and guess what? Many of us do it wrong!

            Yes, there’s a right way and a wrong way to sleep. Sleeping in the wrong position can cause everything from lower back pain and frozen shoulder to wrinkles, neck pain and a stiff jaw.

            Here are 7 of the most common ailments caused by sleeping in the wrong position and the best way to sleep.

            1. Lower Back Pain

            If your lower back is bothering you when you wake up in the morning, your sleep position may have something to do with it.

            The first thing the Cleveland Clinic suggests you do, is get yourself a firm mattress that doesn’t sag, with a firm box spring.[1]

            Next, choose a position that best mimics the natural curvature in your spine. Positions to try include sleeping on your back with a lumbar roll under the small of your back and a pillow under your knees.

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            Another position to try is sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent. When sleeping on your side you may also want to try putting a pillow between your knees. You do not want to pull your knees all the way up to your chest in the fetal position.

            The worst position for your lower back is sleeping on your stomach. If you’ve been doing it for awhile, it may be hard to get out of the habit, but it will be well worth the effort!

            2. Neck Pain

            If you have neck pain, the two best positions to sleep in are on your back or on your side.

            However, that comes with a caveat. According to Harvard, you’ll also need to select the right pillow.[2] The best pillow is a down pillow the conforms to the shape of your neck. Alternatively, you may also want to try a pillow with memory foam that conforms to the shape of your neck and back.

            Regardless, you don’t want to use a pillow that is too high or stiff, placing your head or neck in an unnatural position and causing it to flex throughout the night.

            3. Heart Burn or Acid Reflux

            Fall asleep in the wrong position and stomach acids can slip into your esophagus, causing major heart burn. The worst positions for acid reflux are sleeping on your back, your stomach or your right side.

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            That leaves sleeping on your left side as the best position to avoid sleep time heart burn. Why does it work? Because sleeping on your left side keeps the junction of the stomach and the esophagus above the level of the gastric acid. This prevents the stomach acid from leaking into the esophagus, which is the cause of the “burn” and discomfort.

            This video by Dr. Mandell provides a good visual explanation:

            4. Snoring and Sleep Apnea

            Do snoring and sleep apnea really impact your health? You bet they do.

            Having your sleep interrupted throughout the night over extended periods of time could have long term health implications, as well as leave you constantly tired throughout the day.

            Snoring and sleep apnea are typically caused by collapsed airways, leading to pauses in breathing. Both sleeping on your side or on your stomach can help your airways stay open and reduce snoring and mild apnea.

            However, because sleeping on your stomach is so bad for your lower back, I’d recommend first seeing if sleeping on your side will solve the problem.

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            5. Wrinkles

            You know when you wake up with lines and creases across your cheeks after sleeping with the side of your face on your pillow? Well it may not be temporary after all. They’re called sleep wrinkles and research has shown they can affect your forehead, lips and cheeks![3]

            Sleep wrinkles are cause by sleeping on your stomach or your side, which causes facial distortions. To avoid facial distortions while sleeping, try sleeping on your back – it’s just one more reason sleeping on your back is preferred.

            6. Shoulder Pain

            Ever wake up and you can barely move your shoulder? You may not want to put the blame on your game of squash or workout from the day before. The culprit maybe the way you sleep.

            Specifically, if sleep on your side, the weight of your body on your shoulder, or of your head on your upper arm places a lot of stress on your shoulder’s tendons, causing inflammation and stiffness.

            Shifting to your opposite side, may just cause pain in your other shoulder over time. One again, the easiest solution is to sleep on your back.

            7. Jaw Pain

            Ever wake up in the morning with a sore jaw? Chances are, you’ve either been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been sleeping on the side of your face causing.

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            If you’re grinding your teeth, you should definitely see your dentist and see if he can make a mouth guard, to help protect your teeth. Regardless, sleeping on your side puts additional pressure on the joints of your jaw and the jaw itself. Once again, the solution is to sleep on your back!

            The Bottom Line

            Getting a good night’s sleep is hard enough. Having to worry about it causing you pain should be the least of your worries.

            Follow the advice above and see if it helps you avoid some of the unintended perils of sleeping in the wrong position.

            Featured photo credit: Charles Deluvio via unsplash.com

            Reference

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