Focus Physical Therapy

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3 of Our Favorite Upper Neck Stretches!

Dr. Renee Poirier here to show you a series of my favorite neck stretches

Stretch 1

Starting off with is your levator scapulae, which runs from the base of your skull down to your shoulder blade. So you take your hand behind your back, you look down at your armpit, take your other hand and gently pull down. And then from here, what you’re going to do is you’re going to bring your head a little forward, rotate it a little or even bring it back a touch so that you have a good stretch running from the base of your skull down through your upper back. You want to hold that for about 30 seconds, three times. It’s really good to help with headaches and posture.

Stretch 2

The next stretch for your upper back is for your scalenes, which are actually in the front. And if you have any jaw issues, this is a good stretch to help with your neck posture, and to relieve some stress at your jaw. So you put your hand behind your back, you’re going to take your ear to your shoulder, and then you’re actually gonna tuck your chin a little bit, and you’re going to look down at your armpit. And you should feel a stretch, mostly right through here and then into your collarbone. Again, 30-second hold. And again, you kind of move your head around a little within this small range until you feel that really good stretch right there.

Stretch 3

And then the third stretch in the neck series for stretches is the rhomboid stretch. So stretching the upper back between your spine and your shoulder blade. My favorite one is taking one arm, crossing it over the other. You pull your elbows away from your body towards the wall, and then you go up and down with your arms until you find that spot in your upper back, or you’re getting that stretch, holding for 30 seconds, two to three times. If you’re not able to cross your arms like that, go into a door and cross your arms over, holding onto the door handle, and then leaning back, dropping your head down, and letting your shoulder blades be pulled away from you, get a 30-second holds.