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Do your neck and shoulders often feel painful and stiff after a long day at work? Are your neck and shoulders stiff and achy when you wake up in the morning? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you aren’t alone. 

A medical study reveals that up to 50% of people experience neck pain every year. Shoulder pain is very common, too. Indeed, it’s reported that nearly 15 out of every 1,000 Americans who go to a primary care physician annually are seeking help with shoulder pain. 

A physical therapist can help people who are living with neck and shoulder pain, and one commonly used treatment option for this pain combo is therapeutic exercises. A few of the exercises that your physical therapist may have you use for your pain include: 

  1. Neck side bend exercise

Purpose: This exercise is intended to relieve tension and pain in the trapezius muscle that runs along the top of the shoulder and into the neck. 

How to do the neck side bend exercise: 

  • Sit or stand up straight. 
  • Tuck your chin into your chest until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your neck. 
  • Slowly tilt your head to the left until you feel a stretch in the right side of your neck and the top of your right shoulder. 
  • Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. 
  • Return your head to a neutral position. 
  • With your chin still tucked, slowly tilt your head to the right until you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck and the top of your left shoulder. 
  • Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. 
  1. Chest expansion exercise

Purpose: This exercise can help stretch your chest, shoulder and neck muscles; it can also help reduce the poor posture that can trigger neck and shoulder pain. 

How to do the chest expansion exercise: 

  • Straighten your arms with palms facing toward the rear. 
  • Grasp a tie or exercise band with both hands and hold it behind you. 
  • Slowly move your shoulder blades together and lift your chin toward the ceiling slightly. 
  • Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, and breathe deeply. 
  • Relax for a few seconds. 
  • Repeat this exercise until you’ve done it three to five times. 

Treat your neck and shoulder pain with help from Arrow PTR

Tired of living with an aching neck and shoulder? Our Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation team is ready and willing to help you reduce your pain. We’ll start by doing a free screening to find the root cause of your pain. Then, our physical therapists will construct a customized treatment plan for you that’s designed to decrease your pain. Even better, we can work with you in virtual therapy or at-home care sessions that allow you treat your pain without leaving home. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can address neck and shoulder issues or to schedule your initial appointment.