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You are focused on a task on your computer and start to notice that your neck is tightening up. How can you release the tension? Below are our two favourite muscles to stretch to relieve neck tension. If you wake up with a stiff neck these are best done under a hot shower.

Upper trapezius

upper-trap

  • Set your upright posture, chest up, shoulder blades down and in at a 45 degree angle.
  • Hold your arm of the side of the neck you will be stretching to prevent the shoulder girdle from rising.
  • Looking straight ahead, simply tilt your ear to your shoulder until you feel a comfortable stretch in the side of your neck.
  • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 2 times if tight, and do both left and right sides.

Beginner Levator Scapula

beg-lavator

  • Set you upright posture, chest up, shoulder blades down and in at a 45 degree angle.
  • Hold your arm of the side of the neck you will be stretching to prevent the shoulder girdle from rising.
  • Rotate your neck 45 degrees to one side, then bend your head and neck forwards towards your armpit.
  • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 2 times if tight, and do both left and right sides.

Advanced Levator Scapula

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advanced-lavator-2

  • In the same upright posture, line your trunk up against the wall at a 45 degree angle, now place your elbow up on the wall as high as you can until you feel the back of your upper arm stretching (triceps muscle).  
  • Now rotate your neck 45 degrees away from the elevated elbow, then tuck you chin towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch on the opposite side of the neck.  
  • Hold for 10 seconds initially, repeat 2 times if tight, then progress to holding for 20 seconds.

Come and try out a massage for your Christmas aches at our Beddington clinic (403.295.8590), ask for Paul who would be happy to help you with neck relief.

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