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  • Writer's pictureJudy Slater

Deep neck/shoulder pain at base of neck, or at base of skull, Limited range of motion

These are self-care tips to help bring temporary relief while we are dealing with COVID-19 restrictions. These exercises alone probably won't solve the problem because we are addressing symptoms not the root issues like common compensatory patterns caused by muscular imbalances, poor posture, overuse or inactivity. These tips are best used between bodywork sessions as home-retraining exercises recommended by a Myoskeletal Alignment Therapist, Physical Therapist, or a bodyworker who takes a global approach and understands how to assess and treat the underlying issues. For lasting results seek professional help to address the underlying issue and contributing factors.

Splenius Capitis

Symptoms: Deep pain at the base of the neck close to the spine or at the base of the skull, limited range of motion.

This muscle can get agitated if you spend a lot of time looking up and it stays shortened for a long period of time like painting a ceiling or watching an air show. If you have limited range of motion or pain when you try to take your chin to your chest and then rotate to a side, it's possible a Splenius muscle is to blame.

1. Sit with your chest up and looking straight ahead.

2. Gently push your chin back while looking straight ahead creating a double chin.

3. Keep your head looking straight, don't look up or down.

4. While holding your chin back with one hand use your other hand to reach over the top of your head and apply gentle over pressure tilting the top of the head down.

Be patient, breath and try to focus on where you want to feel the stretch. This one may take some minor tweaking to perfect.

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