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Pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders trouble millions of people worldwide. These chronic conditions can be caused by traumatic injury, as well as poor posture while sitting and sleeping. When the head slumps forward, a position known as forward head posture, or when the head is turned to the side all night while sleeping, imbalances in the spine and muscles manifest.
When the head is forward of the shoulders, the muscles connecting the shoulder blade and cervical vertebra, known as the levator scapulae, contract to keep your head from falling forward too much and pulling you off balance. When the head is kept in a forward head posture for prolonged periods, the levator develops trigger points (locations of chronic stiffness); it thinks it must always remain tight to keep you in balance.
When you sleep on your belly or back with your head turned to one side, one side of your neck is being stretched all night, while the other is held in prolonged contraction. This causes imbalances in the neck and shoulder muscles, leading to irritated nerves and triggered point pain.
These are things you want to avoid. Chronic pain of any kind undermines your health and takes its toll on quality of life your general outlook.
To remedy the acute onset of pain or ease a constant nagging discomfort, many people get massages, see chiropractors and take pain-relieving medications or anti-inflammatory drugs. In the proper circumstances, these measures are all good and serve particular needs. However, there is a no-cost, do-it-yourself approach that does wonders for halting and reducing pain and tightness. Partner stretching is a great way to bring people together, especially loved ones, while helping someone in pain feel better.
In today’s video I would like to share with you two simple partner stretches for neck and shoulder pain. The first comes from Chinese tui-na therapy and is a method for releasing shoulder trigger points. The second is from thai yoga massage and is used to stretch the side of the neck and shoulders.
Grab a partner and have fun together to seek relief from pain and stiffness. Each stretch only takes 30 seconds and is done a few times. Natural time-saving, pain-relieving fun!