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How to gently stretch out neck and shoulder aches and pains

Neck and Shoulder Stretches

We often store tension in our neck and shoulders which can lead to headaches, soreness and poor posture. Releasing these areas feels great- and only takes a few minutes.

Please remember to do these stretches very slowly and gently- and seek advice first if you have severe discomfort or a diagnosed neck or shoulder condition.

Shoulder Rolls

Very slowly, roll the shoulders down and back, starting with small circles and working up to larger circles. Do 10 circles backwards and then repeat forward circles.

Shoulder Lifts

Gently lift the right shoulder up and down and repeat 5 times. Repeat with your left shoulder.

Slowly lift both shoulders up and down together 5 times.

Neck Stretches: Forward & Back

Move your head back slowly then bring it forwards. Repeat five times.

Nodding Head

Do tiny little nodding movements with your head for a minute so it feels as if you have a double chin and feel the muscles at the back of your neck relax.

Ear to Shoulder

Bring your right ear down towards your right shoulder without lifting your shoulder. Repeat five times. Then do the same on the left five times.

Sideways Neck Stretch

Lie on floor and turn your head gently to the right as far as it will go and stay there for 5 breaths. Then turn your head to the left as far as it will comfortably go and stay there for 5 breaths. (This can also be done sitting up in a chair but is better done on the floor as the neck muscles relax more.)

Do these stretches daily and you will soon notice an improvement in your flexibility – and maybe even your mood.

If you would like to find out about simple ways to keep well, your natural health practitioner will be able to advise you.


1.  The Book of Yoga  The Sivananda Yoga Centre Ebury Press London

2. University of Toronto Workpaces Exercises

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Sarah Isaacs, Naturopath

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If you have any medical conditions, are taking prescription drugs or are feeling unwell, please consult a health care professional before taking any of the advice on this website. This advice does not replace medical treatment.
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