The year flies by and before you know it, it’s autumn heading into winter. As we rake leaves, put away outdoor furniture, and start our holiday shopping, we might be left with sore and overworked muscles. Before you find yourself rubbing your neck and shoulders, consider booking a massage therapy session to help alleviate the built-up tension so you can prevent any possible pain or dysfunction with these changes in activity associated with the holidays.
What can you do at home?
You don’t have to limit your treatment to an appointment with a massage therapist. There are many stretches and activities you can do at home, or the office, that may keep you feeling mobile and limit pain.
Here are some easy neck and shoulder stretches that you can do at home that may help prevent discomfort.
Holds for the following stretches are recommended for 30-60 seconds.
For your neck
1. Hold on to the edge of your chair seat with one hand and bend your neck to the opposite side until you feel a gentle stretch. Repeat on the other side.
2. Gently bend your head forward to feel a nice stretch in the lower back part of your neck.
3. Hold on to the edge of your chair seat with one hand and tilt your head back to the opposite side until you feel a stretch. Repeat on the other side.
4. Pull your shoulders down toward the floor and then gently bend your neck back until you feel a stretch in the front of your neck area.
For your shoulders
5. Hold your chair with your right hand. Turn your head slightly to the left. With your left hand, push the back of your head down (gently) and to the left. This should create a nice stretch on your right side in your shoulders.
Another great home care tip is to use a tennis ball to get those achy upper back and neck tender points. Simply place a tennis ball in the marked spots and apply pressure for 30 seconds. Follow that with heat for 20 minutes and you may feel relief.
Note: The advice in this blog is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician. If you are unsure, please speak to your clinician before attempting any of the suggestions below.
If you’re still looking for some more professional massage help, find a clinic near you and book an appointment.
This blog post originally appeared on Lifemark.ca and was written by Jason O’Neil Blackwood (Registered Massage Therapist).