Simple Exercises to Combat Neck Pain and Tension in the Shoulders

Many people have desk jobs where they are hunched over their desk, with their shoulders hunched up looking over paperwork. Often they come home with neck pain and suffer daily. They have muscle spasms in their neck, upper back and shoulders.
A couple of months ago, Denmark's National Research Centre for the Working Environment, released the results of their study into what really helps people with tense shoulders.
The researchers asked volunteers to exercise (cycling), or do exercises aimed at the trapezius muscles.

Others were told not to change their behaviour.
The strength exercises below are what worked. Do them three times per week - the routine takes under five minutes - and like the volunteers in the study, your neck pain should be reduced by an enormous 80%.

When you are doing these exercises, you should keep your knees slightly bent throughout the movements. You should use dumbbells of 2-5 lbs (if you don't have dumbells use a bottle of water or a can of vegetables). You should repeat until your muscles are exhausted which should happen at some point between 8-12 repetitions. When the weight becomes easy, move onto a heavier one.
Here is the exercise routine:
● Shrug. Hold your arms at the sides, holding weights and palms facing in. Keeping your arms straight, pull shoulders up to your ears, pause for a second and lower.
● Bend forward so your chest faces the floor, arms hanging down, palms facing inwards to each other holding weights. With elbows slightly bent, squeeze shoulder blades and raise arms to your sides, parallel to the floor. Hold in this position, pause and then lower.
● Stand with your palms in front of thighs and facing legs. Bend your elbows to the sides and pull weights up to about collarbone level. Pause, then lower.

Visit Arc4life to learn stretching and strengthening neck exercises

Image Source: Janet Travell, MD and David Simons, MD text "Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. volume 1

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