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  • Writer's pictureJudy Slater

Neck & Shoulder tightness, pain or limited range of motion, tension headaches.

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.

Levator Scapulae

Symptoms: Tight upper back at the base of the neck, tension headaches or pain just to inside of upper angle of scapula or on the side of the neck, Upper Cross Syndrome.

Do you feel like your shoulders are up to your ears? Are you having tension headaches? It's possible the Levator Scapulae is a culprit.

To perform the stretch on the right side, simply place your right arm behind your back and lean your left ear toward your left shoulder. From there, gently tilt your nose down toward your chest like you are looking into your shirt pocket.

If you want to intensify the stretch, grip a door frame or counter edge with your right hand and gently pull your elbow right while keeping your arm next to the body. Additional resistance can be added by gently applying over pressure to the top of the head with your left hand. Remember to BE GENTLE and come out of the stretch slowly. Not feeling anything? Try gently, slowly adjusting the angle of your chin &/or neck.

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