How to Relieve Tension in Neck and Shoulders

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Neck tension can develop quickly or gradually. It’s not uncommon to wake up with strained neck muscles after dozing in an unusual posture or overworking your muscles while exercising. Neck muscle tension is a typical ailment. The flexible muscles in your neck hold the weight of your head. Repetitive stress and posture issues can cause these muscles to become damaged and inflamed.

Neck pain can also be caused by worn joints or pinched nerves, but neck strain is more commonly caused by muscular spasms or soft tissue injuries. The top of the spine is also found in the neck, and it can cause pain. Neck stiffness that occurs frequently over months could be due to less obvious causes such as chewing your teeth or crouching down over the computer.

The muscles in your neck might be affected by a variety of activities. Here are valuable knowledge to help you understand where your discomfort is coming from and what you can do to alleviate it.

neck and shoulder tension relief


The most common symptoms of neck muscle tension are:

  • Stiffness of the muscles
  • You’re having difficulty rotating your head in some directions.
  • Muscular tension
  • Spasms of the muscles
  • Discomfort that becomes worse when you’re in various situations


Handheld massagers might be incredibly beneficial if you are suffering from muscle pain. They have a high success rate in the treatment of muscle discomfort. A deep tissue massager effectively relieves muscle tension and pain. They increase local circulation, which allows muscles to relax and decrease discomfort. If you want to treat yourself to a massage at home, there are a variety of electric massagers to choose from that can help you relax.

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Stretch your chin to your chest.

  1. While sitting cross-legged on the floor with your elbows pointed outward, clasp your hands on top of your head.
  2. Lift your chin to your chest gently and keep it there for 30 seconds.

Neck stretch while seated

  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor or on a seat with your feet touching the ground in a relaxed seated position.
  2. Place your right hand on top of the head with your left hand under your bottoms.
  3. Tilt your head to the right until your ear is nearly touching your shoulder. Continue on the opposite side after 30 seconds.

Cheek push stretch

  1. Bring your right hand on your right cheek whether sitting upright.
  2. Gently press your right cheek as far as you can and fix your sight on a location behind you as you turn to look over your left shoulder.
  3. Repeat on the opposite side after 30 seconds.


Your muscles contract, often violently, when you encounter a stressful event or an episode of worry. This is a reflex or automatic reaction. A stress response or “fight or flight” response is what it’s called. It’s your body’s method of preparing for an approaching physical threat that you’ll have to battle or flee from. When you’re stressed or nervous, you might notice other physical signs as well, such as a racing heart, cold skin, short and rapid breathing, and perspiration.

The stress response in your system is intended to help you cope with physical threats, but it also works when the threat isn’t physical. The muscles and other organs could only relax again when the perceived danger has passed, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). The body may remain in an elevated state of alert to face a threat if stress is ongoing — that is, if the stressful event does not appear to have a clear end. As a consequence, your muscles may remain tense and rigid for far longer than necessary.


It’s not always simple to avoid stress-related neck and shoulder stiffness, especially in today’s hectic society. Here seem to be five stretches and exercises to help reduce tension and tightness in your neck and shoulders on a regular basis.


Cat-Cow Yoga Pose

The Cat-Cow, also known as Chakravakasana, is a yoga pose that enables you to stretch your back, torso, and neck while also releasing stress.

  1. Get down on your hands and knees, palms towards the floor, wrists underneath shoulders, and knees under hips.
  2. Take a deep breath and move into Cow Pose. Lift your chin and chest while lowering your belly to the mat. Take a look at the ceiling. Your chest and shoulders should be open. Take a few moments to pause.
  3. Take a deep breath out and move into Cat Pose. Pull your belly button in towards your spine and your back toward the ceiling. You should be concentrating on the mat.
  4. Take a few moments to pause.
  5. Inhale and return to Cow Pose to complete the sequence.
  6. Repeat 10–12 times.


Neck release excerciseThe neck release is a gentle technique for releasing tension in the shoulders and neck.

  1. With both arms at your hips, stand tall.
  2. Bring your chin to your chest and descend your head.
  3. Pause for 30 seconds with your head gently tilted to the right. A stretch should be felt on the left side of your neck.
  4. Return your head to the starting position by bringing it back to the center.
  5. Before switching sides, repeat the process.
  6. On each side, repeat 3 to 5 times.


Neck Stretch ExcerciseThe neck stretch is a deeper stretch that relieves neck stress and improves range of motion.

  1. Placing your left arm at your side, stand tall.
  2. Put your right hand on your head and point your fingers towards the left.
  3. Gently move your head to the right till you feel a stretch in your neck on the left side.
  4. Return to the center after 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Rep on the other side.
  6. Repeat on each side 2 to 3 times.


Balasana Yoga Child Pose

Balasana, or Child’s Practice, is a popular yoga pose that can help alleviate neck and back pain. It’s also a soothing exercise that will help you unwind.

  1. Get down on your hands & knees, palms towards the floor, wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips.
  2. Sit backward on your heels, extend your spine, and walk in front of you with your hands. Make sure your hips are hinged.
  3. Keep your arms outstretched in front of you as you fold forward.
  4. For 60 to 90 seconds, stay in this position. While releasing tension in your neck and shoulders, concentrate on your breathing.
  5. Return to the beginning location and repeat the process.
  6. Repeat 2–3 times.


Thread the Needle Pose for Neck Stretch

Threading the needle is a back, neck, and shoulder exercise that helps to relieve stress.

  1. Get down on all fours and knees, palms towards the floor, wrists underneath shoulders, and knees under hips.
  2. Slide your right hand (palm up) to the opposite side of the body on the floor.
  3. As you glance to the left, your right shoulder should touch the floor as you rotate with the movement. To sustain your weight, use your left hand.
  4. Return to the beginning position after 20 to 30 seconds in this position.
  5. Rep on the other side.
  6. Repeat on each side 2 to 3 times.


Neck Tension During Pregnancy

This is a pregnancy double heavy burden: most women already have stress in their necks and shoulders, and your posture during the third trimester can make you feel off-kilter and create discomfort. It’s a real pain in the neck as a result. The multiple changes that your body goes through throughout pregnancy in order to support your growing baby can cause neck pain. Here’s what could be causing it:

Increased weight – Gaining weight puts extra strain on your muscles and your joints, especially those in your neck and back.

Bad/Poor Posture – Neck pain might be caused by a sway-back or “U” curvature in your spine caused by a swollen stomach. And hunching over a laptop, cradling your phone on your shoulder, or sitting in a less-than-ergonomic desk chair can cause neck discomfort.

Sleep Deprivation – Sleep deprivation – Getting a decent night’s sleep during pregnancy is an age-old problem that can affect your neck. Chucking and turning to reach a comfortable position while shifting your girth can leave you with a tight and uncomfortable neck in the morning.


Try heating or cooling – Neck kinks can be worked out with a warm shower, bath, or low-heat heating pad. You could also alternate between hot and cold treatments or use cold packs for twenty minutes a few instances a day.

Stretching – Tilt your head from side to side without rising your shoulders to loosen stiff muscles. Breathe for 3 seconds, hold for another three seconds, exhale, then repeat on the opposite side. Do this numerous times a day, whether at your job, at the physician’s office, or in line at the supermarket.

Stand Tall – Instead of allowing your shoulders to slump or roll forward, keep them straight and low on your back. You can also improve your alignment and prevent neck strain by tightening your abdomen a little when standing and sitting.

Bottom line

Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, fortunately, responds well to a variety of approaches, including focused stretching, yoga, and other relaxation techniques, and electronic devices made for these issues. If your neck or shoulder pain is significant or doesn’t improve with stretches or other self-care approaches, make an appointment with your doctor.