Muscle tension shoulders

12 Stretches for Fast Relief and Tips for Prevention

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Tight shoulders can cause pain or stiffness in your neck, back, and upper body, and limit your daily activities. Your shoulders may feel tight and stiff as the result of stress, tension, and overuse. Tight shoulders can be also caused by sitting for extended periods, incorrect sleeping positions, and injuries. Poor posture and improper alignment of your body can also play a part.

Read on to learn how to relieve and prevent tight shoulders.

It’s important that you stretch your shoulders regularly to loosen and strengthen the muscles. Releasing tension in your body can improve your overall feelings of wellness, too.

These stretches may help increase flexibility, extend your range of motion, and prevent injury. If you’re short on time, try to do them in shorter spurts throughout the day. You can increase the number of sets you do as you gain strength and mobility.

1. Shoulder raises

  1. While standing or sitting, and with your arms by your side and a straight back, slowly lift your shoulders up toward your ears.
  2. Hold here for a few seconds.
  3. Slowly lower your shoulders back down.
  4. Repeat 5 times.

2. Shoulder rolls

  1. Maintain good posture while standing or sitting.
  2. Roll your shoulders up, back, and down.
  3. Do this movement 10 times.
  4. Then, roll your shoulders up, forward, and down 10 times.

3. Ear to shoulder

  1. Sit with a straight spine and tilt your head toward your right shoulder.
  2. Go as far as you can without straining or lifting your left shoulder.
  3. Deepen the stretch by using your right hand to gently pull your head down.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Chin retraction

  1. Align your head, neck, and spine while standing or sitting.
  2. Extend your chin in front of you as far as it will go without straining.
  3. Then pull your chin back into your throat and neck.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

5. Cross arm stretch

  1. Bring your left arm across the front of your body at about chest height.
  2. Support your left arm with the elbow crease of your right arm or use your right hand to hold your left arm.
  3. Stretch out your shoulder and continue to face forward.
  4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

6. Standing arm swings

  1. Stand with your arms by your side and your palms facing your body.
  2. Swing your arms forward to bring your arms as high up as they will go without raising your shoulders.
  3. Lower your arms back down and bring them as far back as you can.
  4. Keep the rest of your body still.
  5. Continue this movement for 1 minute.

7. Standing arm lifts

  1. Make fists with your hands and bring them in front of your hips.
  2. Inhale as you lift your arms overhead so your hands come together above your head.
  3. Lower back down to the original position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

8. Wide-legged standing forward bend

  1. Stand with your feet wider than hip distance with your toes facing forward.
  2. Interlace your hands behind your back and open your chest.
  3. Engage your leg muscles and keep a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Hinge at the hips to fold forward, bringing your arms over your head toward the floor.
  5. Allow your head to hang down and tuck your chin in slightly to your chest.
  6. Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.

9. Cat cow pose

  1. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  2. On an inhale, fill your belly with air and let it sink down as you look up.
  3. Exhale as you engage your abdominals, tuck your chin into your chest, and round your spine.
  4. Continue this movement for a few minutes, paying special attention to your shoulders.

10. Thread the needle

  1. Come onto your all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  2. Lift your right hand and slowly bring it over to the left with your palm facing up.
  3. Rest your body on your right shoulder and turn your head to face to the left.
  4. Make sure you’re not sinking onto your shoulder.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  6. Slowly release and come back to the original position.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.

11. Reverse prayer pose

  1. You can do this pose while seated, standing, or in tree pose.
  2. Bring your hands behind your back with the backs of your hands facing each other and your fingers facing down.
  3. From here flip your hands in the other direction so your fingers are facing up.
  4. Turn your palms to face each other.
  5. Press your palms together, draw your elbows slightly back, and open your chest.
  6. Keep your spine straight.
  7. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

12. Cow face pose

  1. From a seated position bring your left elbow up to the side of your head with your hand facing down your spine.
  2. Use your right hand to draw your left elbow over to the right as your hand moves further down your spine.
  3. If it’s comfortable you can bend your right arm and bring your right hand up to clasp your left hand.
  4. Hold the pose for 1 minute.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tight shoulders can be caused by several factors, including age. Many of the movements you perform in your daily life cause you to bend forward. That strains your shoulders, neck, and back.

You may create tension in your shoulders from everyday activities such as texting, sitting for extended periods, or carrying heavy bags. Weak muscles, poor posture, and incorrect alignment in your body can also lead to tight shoulders. In some cases, muscle tension may also be the result of injury or chronic stress, or an underlying condition, like:

  • arthritis
  • gout
  • lupus
  • Lyme disease

See your doctor if your shoulder tightness doesn’t improve once you start stretching, or if you’re experiencing intense pain. You should also see your doctor if you begin to experience muscle weakness in your arms or start to have other symptoms such as fevers.

Your doctor may:

  • help you to develop an exercise program
  • refer you to a physical therapist
  • prescribe medication, such as muscle relaxers or pain relievers
  • recommend hot and cold therapy, or the use of a bandage or sling to limit movement

In severe cases, you may require surgery.

It’s important to take care of your shoulders even if they aren’t tight now. Exercising regularly is key to prevention.

  • Stay active and engage in activities that require you to use your shoulders, such as swimming or yoga.
  • Always drink plenty of water, especially when you exercise.
  • Go for regular massages if it’s possible, or take a few minutes each day to do self-massage. You may use essential oils diluted in a carrier oil or a muscle rub for this.
  • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and stay as active as possible.
  • Try to maintain good posture and proper alignment in your body. Pay attention to your body as you go about your daily tasks. If you sit for long periods, change your position often and get up for a short break every 30 minutes.
  • Reduce your stress.

Purchase essential oils, carrier oils, or muscle rub now.

If you notice tension or tightness in your shoulders, it’s important to take steps to relieve the tension as soon as possible. Early treatment can reduce your risk for complications.

It’s a good idea to do exercises to loosen up your shoulders even if you don’t have severe tightness. Try to bring your awareness to this area of your body throughout the day, and work on relaxing and releasing tension. If you’re experiencing long-lasting or intense pain, see your doctor. They may recommend additional therapies or exercises.

Rhomboid Muscle Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Exercises

How to identify rhomboid muscle pain

The rhomboid muscle is located in the upper back. It helps connect the shoulder blades to the rib cage and spine. It also helps you maintain good posture.

Rhomboid pain is felt under the neck between the shoulder blades and spine. It’s sometimes referred to as shoulder blade pain or upper back pain. You may feel pain in this area as a strain, a shooting pain, or some type of spasm. Other symptoms of rhomboid muscle pain may include:

  • tenderness in the upper back area
  • a popping or grinding noise when you move the shoulder blade
  • tightness, swelling, and muscle knots around the muscle
  • loss of movement, or difficulty or pain when moving the muscle
  • pain when breathing

Rhomboid muscle pain can also cause pain in the mid-upper back, at the backs of the shoulders, or between the spine and the shoulder blade. It can also be felt in the region above the shoulder blade.

Where’s the rhomboid muscle located?

You may develop rhomboid muscle pain as a result of:

  • poor or incorrect posture
  • sitting for extended periods
  • injuries from straining, overstretching, or tearing the muscles
  • sleeping on your side

Overuse of the rhomboid muscle can lead to pain in the shoulders and arms. Sports such as tennis, golf, and rowing can cause pain in this area. Activities and work that require you to extend your arms over the head for a long time, carrying heavy bags and backpacks, and lifting heavy objects can also cause this type of pain.

Resting and refraining from any activity that causes rhomboid muscle pain will help you recover quickly. The first line of treatment is the RICE method:

  • Rest. Rest your arms and shoulders as much as possible. Refrain from any activities that use these muscles.
  • Ice. Ice your shoulder for 20 minutes at a time several times per day. It’s especially important to ice the affected area immediately after a strain or injury.
  • Compression. Wrap the area in a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
  • Elevation. Keep your shoulder and chest lifted or supported using pillows while you’re lying down or sleeping.

You may take over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve discomfort and inflammation. These include ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin IB) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

You can apply topical pain relievers such as creams, gels, and sprays to the affected area, too. Topical pain relievers such as diclofenac (Voltaren, Solaraze) and salicylates (Bengay, Icy Hot) are thought to have a lower risk of side effects. This is because less of the drug is absorbed into the blood, and the drug bypasses the gastrointestinal tract.

You may consider applying essential oils diluted in a carrier oil to reduce pain and inflammation. Here are 18 essential oils that may help relieve sore muscles.

After a few days of icing your shoulder, you may wish to apply heat. You can use a heating pad or a warm compress. Apply the heat source for 20 minutes at a time several times per day. You can alternate between hot and cold therapy.

If you’ve taken steps to relieve rhomboid muscle pain and you’re not seeing improvement, you may benefit from seeing a physical therapist or a physiotherapist. They can teach you exercises to improve your shoulder pain and prevent it from recurring.

There are several exercises and stretches you can do to relieve rhomboid muscle pain. These exercises can help improve your recovery and prevent pain from returning.

Make sure you’re able to do the exercises without pain or strain. You may need to have a period of rest before you begin these exercises. Don’t push yourself too hard or too soon.

1. Shoulder blade squeeze

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Sit or stand with your arms alongside your body.
  2. Draw your shoulder blades back and squeeze them together.
  3. Hold this position for at least 5 seconds.
  4. Relax and repeat.
  5. Continue for at least 1 minute.

2. Rhomboid stretch

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Stack your hands with your right hand over your left.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you as you slowly reach forward to feel a gentle stretch between your shoulder blades.
  3. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  4. Do the opposite side.
  5. Do this stretch 2 times on each side.

3. Side arm stretch

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Bring your left arm across the front of your body at shoulder height.
  2. Bend your right arm with your palm facing up and allow your left arm to rest in your elbow crease, or use your right arm to hold your left hand.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  4. Do the opposite side.
  5. Do this stretch 3 to 5 times on each side.

4. Upper back and neck stretch

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Interlace your fingers and extend your arms in front of you at chest level with your palms facing forward.
  2. Gently bend your neck and draw your chin into your chest.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  4. Then, on an inhale, lift your head and look up.
  5. On an exhale, bend your neck and tuck your chin back into your chest.
  6. Follow your breath to continue this movement for 30 seconds.
  7. Release the pose, relax for 1 minute, and repeat once or twice.

5. Neck rotations

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Come into a sitting or standing position with your spine, neck, and head in one line.
  2. On an exhale, slowly turn your head to the right side.
  3. Go as far as you can without straining.
  4. Breathe deeply, and hold this position for 30 seconds.
  5. Inhale to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.
  7. Do this 3 times on each side.

6. Cow Face Pose

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Get in a seated position, and extend your left arm up toward the ceiling.
  2. Bend your left elbow and bring your hand to your back.
  3. Use your right hand to gently pull your left elbow over to the right.
  4. To deepen the pose, bend your right elbow and bring your right fingertips to clasp your left fingertips.
  5. You can use a rope or towel if you can’t reach.
  6. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
  7. Then do the opposite side.

7. Locust Pose

Gif credit: Active Body. Creative Mind.

  1. Lie down on your stomach with your arms next to your body, palms facing up.
  2. Allow your heels to turn out to the side.
  3. Gently place your forehead on the floor.
  4. Slowly lift up your head, chest, and arms as high as is comfortable.
  5. To deepen the pose, lift your legs.
  6. Press your lower ribs, stomach, and pelvis into the floor to further deepen the stretch.
  7. Look straight ahead or slightly upward.
  8. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds.
  9. Release the pose and rest for a bit before repeating the pose once or twice.

The amount of time it takes to recover from rhomboid muscle pain will depend on how severe the strain is. Most mild strains will heal within three weeks. More serious strains can take several months to heal.

It’s important to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting during recovery. Slowly return to your activities once you feel fully healed. Pay careful attention to how your body responds to activities after a period of rest. Notice if there’s any discomfort or pain, and respond accordingly.

See your doctor if you don’t see improvements. Physical therapy may be recommended for chronic strains.

There are steps you can take to prevent rhomboid muscle pain from happening in the future. Here are a few tips and guidelines:

  • Always warm up before a workout and cool down afterward.
  • Practice proper technique when playing sports.
  • Take a break from exercise and activities when you feel sore or tired.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects, and use proper form when you do.
  • Carry heavy backpacks on both shoulders, not one.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise and stretch regularly to stay in shape.
  • Practice good posture while sitting, standing, and walking.
  • Take frequent breaks to move around, walk, and stretch during periods of extended sitting.
  • Use protective equipment for sports and work.

Take care of yourself as soon as you start to experience rhomboid muscle pain so that it doesn’t get worse. Take time to rest, and refrain from activities that are causing this pain.

If you experience rhomboid muscle pain regularly, you may wish to work with a personal trainer to learn exercises that can help you correct imbalances in your body. Having regular massages or joining a yoga studio may also help bring positive results.

See your doctor if you experience intense pain that worsens, becomes severe, or doesn’t respond to treatment. They can help you find a treatment plan that works for you.

11 exercises to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders / AdMe

Many of us are familiar with the state when the neck muscles are stiff and the shoulders are tense. Well, if the pain is caused by stress, the habit of sitting in the wrong position or lack of physical activity - in this case, regular muscle stretching exercises can significantly alleviate your condition and even permanently relieve pain. The key word here is "regular".

We at ADME have found some very effective stretching exercises to help with neck and shoulder pain. nine0003

1. Neck roll

This is a very gentle stretch that is used to relieve tension in the entire neck .

  • Turn the towel with a roller
  • Put it under the base of the skull
  • Remove your head back and completely relax
  • Stay in this position for 10 minutes if you do not experience pain

2. Stretching of the neck with hands

This is exercise provides deep stretching back of the neck and upper back .

  • Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor
  • Clasp your hands behind your head
  • Gently pull your head down, trying to bring your chin to your chest
  • Hold your head in this position for 30-40 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position and 901 disengage8


Lateral head tilt


The purpose of this exercise is to stretch the left and right sides of the neck .

  • Sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor
  • Place your right hand on the top of your head and gently pull your head to the right
  • Keep your back straight and relax your shoulders
  • Remain in this position for 30-40 seconds, then slowly return your head to the starting position
  • Repeat the same for the other side

4. Upper trapezius stretch

This stretch works both neck and shoulders .

  • Place your right hand behind your back and grasp your left hand around your wrist
  • Gently pull your hand towards your left foot
  • Tilt your left ear towards your left shoulder
  • Hold this position for
on the other side, then repeat for the other side You can do this exercise with your hands in front of you. This way you also engage the upper trapezius muscles, but change the angle a little.

5. Stretching the levator scapula muscle

This exercise works the shoulders and lateral muscles of the neck .

  • Sit on a chair and grab it from behind with one hand
  • Point your chin to your chest and your ear to your left shoulder
  • Rotate your head alternately 45° to the left and 45° to the right. You can help yourself by putting your hand on your head, but without effort. All movements should be very gentle
  • Hold the head at the extreme points for 20-30 seconds
9. All movements should be smooth and soft.

  • Get on all fours
  • Then start moving your left hand, palm up, into the space between your right hand and knees, rotating your torso until your head touches the floor
  • Hold this position for 30-40 seconds, then repeat for other side

7. Shoulder rotation

©Depositphotos. com

This movement relieves tension in the shoulders .

  • Stand or sit with your back and neck straight
  • Raise your shoulders up, then lower them back and down in a circular motion
  • Move smoothly with your head pressed against your neck, forming a double chin

8.9002 Stretch arm over shoulder


This stretch is good not only for your biceps, but also for shoulders .

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Stretch your left arm across your chest to the right
  • Press your left elbow close to your body with your right hand
  • Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds, then repeat with the other arm
  • 5

cow head


This stretch targets many muscles, including shoulders .

  • Raise your left arm straight up, then bend it and put it behind your head
  • Put your right arm behind your back, reach your left hand and clasp your hands in the lock
  • Stay in this position for 10 seconds, then release your hands and start symmetrical execution exercises

If you cannot clasp your hands behind your back, use a towel. Hold it with the hand behind your head. With your other hand, reach for the towel, creating a gentle stretch. nine0003

10. Wall Arm Stretch


This stretch is great for tension in the shoulders .

  • Place your left hand against the wall. The palm may also be touching the wall or facing the ceiling
  • Press the shoulder against the wall
  • Turn the chest slightly away from the wall, creating a gentle stretch
  • Hold this position for 30-40 seconds and repeat with the other arm

11. Double front shoulder stretch


This is a very intense stretch for shoulders .

  • Stand up straight
  • Clasp your hands behind your back
  • Raise your arms until you feel a stretch
  • Hold this position for 30-40 seconds, repeat 3 times more
  • lean forward

Do you have any other proven neck and shoulder exercises? Tell us about them in the comments and share this article with your friends. nine0003

Muscle exercises to relax your shoulders and neck throughout the day

Stress, sitting at a computer for many hours and carrying heavy weights can cause muscle pinching and pain in the neck, shoulders and back. Learn how to help yourself in the middle of a busy day and relax your neck and shoulders.

Daria Kabatskis



Breathing exercises nine0003

how to relax back and neck muscles

relax your back and shoulders

self-massage for the back and neck

Getty Images

Every day we face many dangers in our back, shoulders and neck. Even hidden stress can lead to the development of many diseases, from the most primitive clamps to osteochondrosis and spinal hernia! The main cause of many problems with the spine is associated with muscle spasms, and in the most neglected state, this is fraught with blockade of the intervertebral discs. How to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulders to rid yourself of health problems? There are many useful tips and tricks that you can use not only at home, but also in the office. nine0003

Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.

A feeling of excessive tension in the shoulders, back and neck can be provoked by awkward body movements, stooping, staying in an uncomfortable position for a long time, hypothermia, past infection and a number of similar causes that have a negative impact.

How to properly relax the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders

The primary pathology is a strong overstrain: the intervertebral discs can be in a clamped state for a long time, squeezing the nerve endings. The feeling of fatigue and pain can be of different intensity, depending on the individual characteristics of the body and the degree of overstrain. How to relax your neck and shoulders on your own is an important issue that allows you to relieve tension during the working day.

The most vulnerable areas are the roots of the spinal cord and autonomic nerves, they are the most sensitive to overvoltage. Spasmodic muscles compress nerve fibers and blood vessels, which disrupts nutrition in tissues, and static tension is aggravated by stress and even a minor cold. At the height of the working day, the neck and muscles of the shoulder girdle primarily need local relaxation. Special exercises will help to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Daily warm-up and self-massage can save the body from many serious complications, so it is recommended to set aside at least 5-10 minutes for regular mini-workouts that will help relax cramped muscles. nine0003

Exercises to help relax your neck and shoulders

Breathing exercises are a convenient way to relieve tension in your back and shoulders, even at work. Inhale - tension, exhale - relaxation, then inhale without tension, and as you exhale, concentrate on relaxing a specific part of the body. These relaxation exercises for the neck and shoulders are important to do regularly, several times a day.

  • Tighten the most spasmodic area, hold the tension for 20-30 seconds, and then relax on the exhale. nine0018

  • Try to pass a feeling of bodily relaxation through the tense area of ​​the back, neck or shoulders: take the most comfortable position and try to make the muscles completely cottony.
  • Massage of tense areas of the body is mandatory: if there is no one who can do it, knead the closed muscles yourself. Try the technique of point deep pressure, vibration massage, massage roller. Lightly pull the skin in the problem area and rub the place of maximum tension. Massage on the shoulders and neck has a relaxing wonderful relaxing effect. After it, muscle tone improves and mood rises. nine0018

    If the back, neck or shoulders are in a painful condition for more than three days, it is worth trying the heat treatment. Try making a ten-minute compress with a towel soaked in warm water. From above, cover the area of ​​the body with a plastic bag and a dry towel for the best preservation of the greenhouse effect. Shoulders and neck hurt? Try to do warm compresses every day, for example, during your lunch break.

    In order to properly relax the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders, use stretching exercises. Just 5-10 minutes a day will help improve the condition of the muscle frame. Try to stretch while sitting with your arms raised, as if trying to reach the ceiling with your fingertips, without looking up from the seat. nine0003

    To relax your neck, perform gentle tilts and turns of your head for five minutes every hour: forward-backward, left-right. Relaxing gymnastics for the neck and shoulders is relevant in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

    Learn more