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Relaxing neck and shoulders

(26 Posts)
JackyB Fri 23-Feb-24 11:09:04

I have just caught myself at it again - shoulders totally tensed and practically up around ears, neck constricted, back tense, perched on the front of the chair. I have forced myself to relax it all but I know in 5 minutes I'll be all scrunched up again, every muscle tense, like an animal waiting to pounce.

Has anyone got any tips on how to stop this habit? I get such awful persistent headaches because of it. I have nothing serious to worry about, so I don't know why I do it. There I go again - all tensed up in the time it took to type this.

dogsmother Fri 23-Feb-24 12:47:05

Remind yourself to stretch your head up long, put your shoulders down. Then you have to point the opposing bottoms of your shoulder blades in towards the back pockets of your trousers, imaginary if you aren’t wearing any.
I do this constantly as I have spinal osteoporosis and getting a disturbing hump.

Katyj Fri 23-Feb-24 13:59:51

Oh yes following for ideas. The tops of my shoulders are so tight, they’re causing frequent headaches. I’ve been rubbing volterol in every day lately 🙄

Patsy70 Fri 23-Feb-24 14:40:57

Maybe joining a Yoga class would help?

HelterSkelter1 Fri 23-Feb-24 19:10:05

Would it help to discuss this with a physiotherapist or an osteopath. Have a one to one session with a yoga teacher?
I do sympathise I can find my shoulders up by my ears but not as frequently as you have described

PaperMonster Sat 24-Feb-24 17:24:27

Try using an acupressure pillow. Love mine.

LovesBach Sat 24-Feb-24 17:33:18

The perfect posture can be achieved by imagining that you are a puppet, with a string coming out of the crown of your head, let yourself 'hang' from the string, and you will find that your eyes and head level to the right place, your shoulders drop, and all areas of head, neck and spine are aligned and in the right place. So simple, but it really does work. My shoulders drop about three inches every time I remember to do this.

Gwyllt Sat 24-Feb-24 17:50:21

I’m a bit ignorant but please what is an acupressure pillow and what are it assets

paddyann54 Sat 24-Feb-24 21:18:49

if you relax your face the rest will follow naturally ,mainly when our jaws are tense our necks and shoulders are too

Cossy Sat 24-Feb-24 21:36:34

I gave regular back, neck and shoulder massages and I also have a mad neck brace which pumps up

Davisiller07 Tue 27-Feb-24 10:03:32

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aimaeysa55 Tue 27-Feb-24 10:12:33

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pascal30 Tue 27-Feb-24 10:20:24

I would completely endorse the deep breathing exercises, also do neck stretches from side to side and up and down. Try meditation.. there are some lovely sites on line to help you, have a regular massage (local colleges with beauty courses are very reasonably priced), talk to someone about why you are so tense and get into beautiful countryside for a walk..

keepingquiet Tue 27-Feb-24 10:29:50

Some great ideas here. Every morning I do a body check, starting with my head, eyes, ears etc and then working down to standing on my tiptoes with no support. Neck and shoulders get a bit of attention, shrugging and small turning exercises. I made them up but it works for me.
Recently I have left the sofa behind and use my lap-top on a table. It is much much better for my posture but this has reminded me we have to keep aware!

JackyB Tue 27-Feb-24 16:13:39

Thank you all for the helpful ideas. Paddyann the tip about relaxing your face actually works! And can be done anywhere. I still have to remind myself every 5 minutes though.

I may look into yoga which I have avoided like the plague up until now.

Suzieque66 Fri 01-Mar-24 11:19:42

I got a Chair Yoga book on Amazon and do the excersises every morning ... I feel so much better and I think its because the movements help the blood move around the body ..

dragonfly46 Fri 01-Mar-24 11:23:53

I used to be like this but I found Pilates has helped immensely. It has also eliminated the pain in my hips. Any stretching exercise it good but I find Pilates the best.

Gin Fri 01-Mar-24 11:40:17

Tai Chi helps a lot . I go to a class every week but also every day do the deep breathing and consciously relaxing every part of my body, my head positioned as if being pulled by a thread from on high

AGAA4 Fri 01-Mar-24 11:56:36

I recommend yoga as it relaxes every part of your body. If your neck and shoulders are tense then other parts of your body may be too

win Fri 01-Mar-24 12:17:19

Tai-Chi is wonderful but can be challenging if you have severe back problems. We sit down to do Tai-Chi and that is perfect for me. I suffer with neck, shoulder and back problems due to a severe scoliosis so exercise on the floor for 30 minutes, as soon as I get out of bed. I cannot start the day without it. The exercising is good investment, but means it is always so late before my day starts. I never make appointments/arrangements until after 10.30am as I just cannot get going.

mousemac Fri 01-Mar-24 12:17:54

I have a morning standing stretch routine.

Elbows out sideways, hands locked behind base of skull, push head hard against hands.

It seems to pull in the stomach as well, and adds (temporary) inches to one's height.

Esmay Fri 01-Mar-24 12:21:34

I get a lot of neck tension and headaches as a result . The tension goes right down into my back .
It's why I don't sew as much as I used to .
And avoid knitting as it can make me tense .
I also endorse yoga .
Tai Chi is great as well .I'm starting Tai Chi to try to get my weight down .
It's better to do slow exercise such as yoga and really concentrate on your breathing :
I slowly turn my head from side to side then tilt my head back and bring it forwards -breathing slowly with my eyes shut visualising something pretty !
I do this more slowly than anyone else in my yoga class . It's so relaxing that I can almost fall asleep !

Then , I bring my shoulders up and let them drop several times .
You can do these sitting down .
I haven't tried Pilates , but I've heard that it's very helpful .

Good luck .

Juicylucy Fri 01-Mar-24 13:22:27

When you go to sit down, sit with your bottom right back against the back of the chair, and rest your head back inlign with your back until it becomes a habit.

Gundy Fri 01-Mar-24 14:23:12

Many good ideas here. I would like to recommend three, for starters:

1) Start with deep breathing. Inhale as much as you possibly can to max your lungs (keep inhaling…), then hold it in for 5 seconds, then slooowly exhale, through nose or mouth, till you push out all your oxygen (keep exhaling) because there’s more in there. Rest a few seconds and do it again 2 or 3 times. I do it at night when I want to go to sleep. Totally relaxes you. I also do several times throughout the day.

2) Go to a beginner’s yoga class. They will teach you how to stretch and breathe properly. Together it will relax your body. Stretching is Very important. Yoga will also strengthen your muscles.

3) If those don’t work go for neck and shoulder massages. You’ll feel like a new person.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 01-Mar-24 17:25:42

I find doing simple exercises for a few minutes every day helps. I don't think it matters when you do them. My chosen time is when I have finished making my bed in the morning. That way I don¨t forget to do them.

Stand or sit with your back straight, shoulders lowered to where they should be and head and neck in a straight line with your spine, or as straight as possible.

Start with both arms hanging down at your sides. Lift them slowly (without lifting your shoulders) until your arms are at shoulder height. Do this both with your arms pointing ahead of you and out to either side. Keep elbows, wrists and hands in a straight line. Then lower your arms slowly again. Breathe in as you raise your arms and out as you lower them. Repeat four to six times in each direction.

Continue by raising arms as high as possible, turning the palms of your hands towards each other at shoulder height on the way up and down towards floor when moving arms back down as you pass your shoulders. Again breathe in as you raise your arms, and out as you lower them.

Stand again with arms relaxed by your sides and turn your head slowly alternately to the left and to the right, while relaxing your jaw. Repeat four to six times.