Simple Stretches to Soothe Tight Shoulders

Tight shoulders? Chronic tension in your neck and upper back? Upper back pain and shoulder stiffness are common complaints, even among young people.

Many of the movements we perform in our daily lives—such as working on a computer, texting and carrying heavy bags-– cause us to bend forward, straining the muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper back. With lack of attention, these muscles become tired and overworked, resulting in pain, discomfort and even headaches.

In some cases, muscle tension may be the result of an underlying condition, such as arthritis, gout, lupus or Lyme disease. Other causes of upper back pain and shoulder tightness include–

  • sitting for extended periods,
  • sleeping in a less than optimal position
  • weak muscles
  • injuries
  • poor posture

And let’s not forget about stress. When you experience high levels of stress, your rib cage can drop slightly, causing your shoulders and upper back to round forward into a slouch. Ouch!

Besides paying attention to how we move throughout our day, doing movements to realign our upper back and release overstretched muscles can make a huge difference.

So the next time tension creeps into your shoulders and upper back, try this short floor practice. Your shoulders and upper back will thank you.

Wisdom Tree Yoga’s goal is to share the transformative benefits of yoga with real people living with real life challenges. We welcome students of all levels, offering a safe, supportive environment that is inclusive, accessible, compassionate, and joyful.



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