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How to Release Tension in Back and Shoulders

By Sandy Schroeder

Wherever you do business, in an ergonomic chair at your desk or slumped on the couch with phone and laptop, eventually you will feel tension in the upper back and shoulders. You may also have neck pain, slumped posture and shallow breathing. It all goes together when we sit too much.

Stress can add another layer of pain to the body. If stress clouds your day again and again, it may be time to outline the issues and see your doctor and or a therapist to sort everything out. That emotional tension can add to the tightness in your shoulders and neck.

MindBodyGreen.com tells us learning how to handle the tension can make all of the difference in comfort and productivity. Stay aware of the problem and take breaks throughout the day

How to Fix It

The good news is we can ease the pain and tension with more time away from our chairs, more healthy activities, and a relaxing upper-back and shoulder stretch routine.

MindBodyGreen.com says it takes less than 10 minutes to do a soothing upper-body stretch routine that will relieve the pain and tightness and restore mobility.

When you do the stretches, hold each move for at least 30 seconds to give the muscles time to relax. Go slowly and savor the feeling of relaxation. Before beginning the routine check with your doctor to integrate them with your current routines.

Butterfly stretch - Sit up straight and touch fingers to shoulders pointing elbows to your sides. Exhale and slowly move elbows forward to touch keeping back straight. Inhale and move elbows back to original position.

Rainbow stretch - Stand up and raise arms over your head. Hold left wrist in right hand. Slowly lean to right in a rainbow move, gently pulling on the wrist. Hold for a few seconds. Then repeat on the other side.

Cat cow pose - Begin on all fours with a towel under the knees to form a cushion. Inhale and lower the head while lifting the upper back. Then exhale and lift the chin up and lower the belly to the ground. Enjoy the stretch.

Child's pose - Start on the hands and knees. Turn toes in and move hips back as you bend knees and reach arms straight ahead. Relax gradually and deepen the stretch as you exhale and reach farther forward. Slowly move back into the original pose on hands and knees.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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