Top 5 Neck Pain Relief Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you my top 5 neck stretches. so let’s get started. before we get started with the stretches,
a lot of you asked do you need to warm up before you stretch. and the simple
answer is yes. but sometimes if you have neck pain or if you’re just trying to
stretch your neck in general, it’s kind of hard to warm up those neck muscles.
usually if it’s in the legs you can kind of you know March or do jumping jacks or
walk real fast for a while, but with the neck it’s a little bit harder. so a lot
of times I’ll tell people just to put on a heat wrap for about 10 to 15 minutes
before and the warmth will help kind of loosen up those muscles to go into the
stretch. so the folks at biomed DB Design LLC sent me their sunny Bay unscented
hands-free neck wrap. and so what’s really cool about this is not only does
it just fit around the neck very nicely, but you can just heat it up by
microwaving it for about a minute and then you can flip it over and just do
ten second increments to get it to your comfort level. so once you have it heated
up you can place it around your neck for about 10 to 15 minutes, maybe even five
minutes, just to warm up those neck muscles before you go into the stretches
will really really help because that just kind of gets everything loosened up.
and they they come in a couple different colors. so if you’re interested in
purchasing them make sure and click on the link up there. so after you get that
nice and warmed up, you’ll you’ll kind of feel that it feels a little bit looser
as well and then go into the stretches. so the first stretch is going to be an
upper trap stretch. and that’s those muscles up in here. so the best way to
stretch that is just take the hand on the side that you want to stretch and
sit on it. you don’t have to sit on it if it’s uncomfortable, but you want to try
and push your arm down to keep that shoulder dow.n if you aren’t comfortable
doing either one of those, you don’t have to, but again it just holds it down to
give you a better stretch. take the other hand and then just gently pull away from
that side kind of bringing your ear towards the other shoulder, and you
should feel that stretch kind of right in through here. and you want it to be a
good comfortable stretch, nothing where it’s painful, but that kind of good hurt.
and then you want to hold it for 30 seconds. do the 3 on each side if you
have neck pain, even if you’re just having
neck pain on one side I’d really recommend doing both sides. so 30 seconds,
I like to alternate each side just to give it a kind of a break in between and
do that three times on each side. so the next stretch is going to be for your
levator scapulae. and that brings up those shoulder blades or your scapula,
and the reason that this one gets really tight and it’s important to stretch it
out because it causes a lot of neck pain because that’s kind of where we hold our
stress. our levator scapulae muscle brings those shoulders up, or elevates
those those shoulder blades, so when we’re kind of stressed out or working on
the computer for a long time, we kind of tend to crunch up like this, and so
stretching those out really helps relieve some of that neck pain. so this
time the side that you want to stretch you’re going to kind of bring your arm
up where you want to get your elbow pointing towards the ceiling as much as
you can. if you can’t do that this is okay, you can just kind of raise your arm.
if you can’t do that either, that’s okay, you can do this stretch without this but
again this kind of helps hold that shoulder blade or that scapula down to
give you a better stretch. so this time you’re gonna put your hand behind your
head and what you want to do is you want to come down at an angle. you want to
kind of take your nose and stretch down towards your opposite knee. so it’s not
right in front of you, it’s not out to the side like the upper trap stretch, but
it’s kind of at an angle that way. so I’m pulling over this way bringing that
elbow up towards the ceiling as much as I can. and you should feel that stretch
right through there. so same thing 30 seconds, 3 on each side. alternate if you
can and then come back through this way and then hold that for 30 seconds. so the
next stretch is an anterior scalene stretch. this is the neck muscles in
the front here, so a great way to stretch that out is take the hand of the
opposite side you’re going to stretch. so if I’m stretching this side I’m just
gonna place my hand kind of on my collar bone or that clavicle bone right there.
and this is again just to kind of help pull down when you’re stretching. and
then you’re gonna take your head, turn it away, and then bring your ear up towards
the ceiling as you pull down a little bit. and you should feel that stretch
right in through here. so again this is a 30-second hold and then alternates side.
so then you’re turning, holding here, lifting that ear up, and kind of pulling
down. when you stretch, you don’t have to do this part, but you I always feel a
little bit better stretch when I kind of pull down that way just to get that
extra stretch. then again 30 seconds 3 times on each side.
so then the next one is going to be a chin tuck. chin tucks are kind of a
stretch kind of an exercise, so sometimes you’ll see it in both, but I really do
feel like it’s a good stretch just to kind of reset all the muscles and
stretch them out a little bit. a lot of times with neck pain,
it comes from if you’re doing something focusing on something. a lot of time
specially when you’re working on a computer, you kind of start leaning
forward like this, and then you over stretch all these muscles in your neck
area, and doing some chin tucks kind of helps reset that. so with a chin tuck,
it’s not tucking down like this, but it’s actually taking your chin and tucking it
back in, or just moving your whole head back. so I like to kind of put my finger
on my chin, you don’t have to but just use it as a target. so you would leave
your finger there and then tuck your chin and see how lots of little Chins
right there, and then hold that for about five seconds. you want to give it a nice
big hold, and then when you relax usually you have a little bit of space in
between, and that just shows that you’re kind of resetting the muscles. so I think
it’s sometimes nice to see that visual feedback that you probably have been
doing this for awhile, and if you just tuck it in hold that stretch for about
that five seconds, and do maybe three to five of those, that kind of helps reset
those muscles. so it’s just a really nice way to kind of get everything reset. and
then the last stretch you’re going to use a towel to help you stretch, and
these are called snags. and so basically with the snags, you’re kind of holding
one segment in place with the towel and then stretching. so it’s just a really
great way to help get rid of some of that neck pain. just make sure you don’t
choke yourself with the towel. so you’re just going to kind of put it around you.
and then the side that you want to stretch, you’re gonna grab here and then
you’re going to anchor the other side down like this. see how my hands are kind
of crossed here. I’m gonna take this side and bring it up at an angle kind of on
my ear. so I don’t want it to be here on my neck, but I’m gonna
bring it up right over my ear, and I’m gonna take it up and over. so it’s kind
of gonna be at an angle, not just straight across. so I’m coming up over my
ear, I’m pulling down this way, pulling up that way, so this is just really giving
me a nice good stretch. you can pull back just a little bit if that’s comfortable
while you’re holding this to kind of stabilize that bottom. so again holding
for about 30 seconds, doing three on each side. so then when I switch, I’m going to
anchor here and then I’m going to pull up and over that ear down this way, up
this way, to get that nice stretch in there. so if this one since you have to
kind of pull and use some some effort in your arm, if you can’t hold it for that
quite thirty Seconds, ten to fifteen seconds is okay, just then do a couple
more on each side. so there you have it those were my top five neck stretches.
what’s also cool about this “cool,” is you can also put it in the freezer for about
sixty minutes or an hour and then cool those neck muscles down after you
stretch and exercise them. so this is a really cool thing where you can heat it
up to get your muscles warmed up and then cool it down after you’ve done the
exercises. so if you’d like to purchase the product make sure to click on the
link up there, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down there. and
remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

Joseph Wolf


  1. Could please do more stretches of the feet and plantar fasciitis videos? It is a problem that bugs many, and we would like to see as many stretches and remedies as we can. I know you've done some in the past, I just would like more. Thanks!

  2. Hey doctor jo I have really bad forward neck posture and I know it puts pressure on your legs because it tilts everything forward my leg knee just about has started aching you think this is because my posture is so forward it's an on and off pain about my knee and around it

  3. Hey doc, please dont forget about knee fat pad inflammation (Hoffa's syndrome).

  4. Love all your videos , they are easy to follow and understand , very helpful and your light hearted presentation is always enjoyable.m

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