Suffering from shoulder or neck pain?

You’re not alone!

It’s shocking to discover that 14-71% of individuals will suffer from neck pain, and 7-67% from shoulder pain during their lifetime.

Shoulder and neck pain can have a significant impact on your well-being and some of the risk factors include:

  • Gender (women > men).
  • A sedentary lifestyle.
  • Time spent sitting and working behind a computer.
  • Stress, and depression.
  • Medical conditions such as; diabetes, cardiovascular – and pulmonary conditions, as well as cancer.
  • Repetitive or extensive movement patterns.

We often search for a ‘magic pill’ to relieve pain but we can actually guide our bodies to heal and recover by itself, in many circumstances. Movement is medicine! In this article, we’ll discuss some stretches you can do to relieve your shoulder and neck pain.

Before we get into these stretches, it is important to listen to your body. Some of these stretches may be uncomfortable, but you should never experience pain. If you experience pain, try to make the movement slightly smaller or if it persists, leave the stretch out for now.

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side if necessary.

Shoulder Stretches

doorway stretch illustration

1. Doorway Stretch

Stand in a doorway and place your forearm on the wall, with your arm in an L-shaped position. Now, shift your weight forwards and rotate your upper body slightly towards the opposite side.

2. Cross-Body Stretch

cross body stretch male

Reach your right arm out forwards parallel to the floor and then across the body. Use the left arm and apply a gentle pressure to intensify the stretch.

3. Cow Face Arm Stretch

cow face stretch woman

Reach your right arm up towards the sky and bend the elbow, so that your elbow is facing upwards and your hand is reaching to touch your upper back. Now, reach the left arm towards the floor and bend your elbow, so that your elbow is facing down towards the floor and your hand is reaching up towards your back. Try to reach for the opposite hand if possible.

This is quite a difficult stretch, so to modify this stretch you can use a towel or band.

4. Child Pose Stretch

childs pose

Kneel on your mat, with your knees just wider than hip-width apart, and place your buttocks on your heels if possible. Now, reach your arms forwards and place your forehead on the floor. Gently press your armpits and chest towards the floor to intensify the stretch.

Neck Stretches

  1. Chin-on-Chest stretch

Place your chin on your chest to stretch the back of your neck.

  1. Ear-to-Shoulder stretch

Try to place your left ear on your left shoulder. Remember to keep the right shoulder down and intensify the stretch by using the left hand to gently guide the head towards the left shoulder.

  1. Look-over-the-Shoulder stretch

Look over your one shoulder, without tilting your chin up- or downwards, and don’t move the shoulders.

  1. Nose-to-Armpit stretch

Sit on your right hand, reach your nose towards your left armpit and place your left hand on the back of your head and apply a gentle pressure towards your armpit.


We often don’t include stretches in our daily workout routines because we don’t understand its importance, but this is your reminder that stretching is extremely important for injury prevention and recovery as well as improving posture, releasing the tension, and managing stress.

Practicing these stretches may help to relieve tension and pain in your shoulders and neck. However, it is still important to consult a physical therapist or doctor if the pain is severe or persists.

There are also so many other methods to reduce pain such as; applying a hot pack to the painful area or practicing stress management strategies such as; meditating, journaling, or exercising. By trying to incorporate these tips and stretches into your daily routine, you will start noticing how these small changes can completely change your life.

We know there are many different types of stretches and methods that can help with shoulder and neck pain. 

What methods have you found that have benefited you the most?

Please share in the comments!