By: Dr. St Jean
Neck pain can be caused by a variety of situation such as stress, injury, or illness. In this video, I am going to talk about different type of stretches for the neck specifically stretches for your upper trapezius, your levator scapulae, and your SCM also known as sternocleidomastoid.
Safety Before Stretch!
Of course, there are other muscles in addition to the once you see here. All of which can either directly or indirectly caused pain via strains or just compensatory tightening due to instability. Keep in mind, you need the proper diagnosis before treatment can actually ensue. So if you actually have neck pain, go see a physician.
If you are doing these stretches I am about to teach you and you feel any symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, double vision, sharp pain in the neck, or numbness and tingling, stopped doing these stretches immediately. Remember, you should only feel a stretch when you are doing these exercises.
The SCM Stretch
The first stretch we are going do is for the SCM also known as the sternocleidomastoid. This muscle attaches itself from the collarbone and goes up to the skull. The first step you are going to do is very simple. You are going to extend the hand of the arm on the same side your stretching. For example, if I am to stretch my left SCM, I am going to extend my left arm and hand backwards. Once you get that down, you are going to then do the next step which is to rotate your head to the opposite side that your stretching, bend it to that side and extend it and there you are getting a nice stretch to that SCM right there. It is really easy to do. Hold that stretch for about 20 to 30 seconds and repeat again.
The Levator Scapulae Stretch
Now that you’ve just learn the SCM stretch, what about the levator scapulae? The levator scapulae travels from the upper portion of your shoulder and then up into the neck. It is very easy to stretch. The first step is to rotate your head 45 degrees to the opposite side your stretching. So if I am stretching my left levator scapulae, I am going to rotate my head 45 degrees to the right. The second step, I am going to take my hand and I am going to pull or flex my head forward to the opposite and right there I can feel a great stretch in my levator scapulae, very easy to do, really potent.
The Upper Trapezius Stretch
The next one is the upper trapezius. Upper trapezius is an extremely common muscle involved in neck pain. It is almost always overactive. It extends from the shoulder blades up into the cervical spine as well as the head. It is a very easy muscle to stretch. All you are going to do, make sure you are in an upright seated position. Take your hand and bend your head to the opposite side your stretching to get the left upper trapezius. If you want to get your right, it is as simple as doing the exact opposite. You feel a great stretch right in there. Be gentle with this one, a lot of you are tight, simple as that.
When it comes to neck pain, these stretches are really potent and very effective. So go ahead and give them a try. I hope you found this information helpful and useful. If you want more great information on neck pain relief, check out my video and article blog on the top left hand corner of the website. If you are ready to take the next step and finally find a solution to your neck pain troubles, schedule a consult below: