Shoulder Shrugs for Neck, Mid Back Stiffness

by Al
(Diamond Bar, California)

First of all I want to thank you for your site. Very good exercises.


I have neck and mid back stiffness. I was diagnosed with 5% functional scoliosis (for those that don't know, 'functional' means it was acquired from lifestyle habits, in my case bad posture, prolonged sitting, lack of exercise, bad sleeping habits, not congenital).

Anyhow, I get a lot of relief from shoulder shrugs, i.e, raising my shoulders to my ears and holding the stretch for 3 seconds and releasing. Then repeating for 10 times.

When I do this in combination with the neck stretches you recommended I'm getting great results.

My question is: What do you think of these shrug stretches that I'm doing ( no weights of course)? Are they good for you AND do they lead to some long term therapy or am I wasting my time doing them. ... they sure do relieve the pain temporarily, but I want to eventually get the knot out of my mid back that is causing that scoliosis.

I know that for the type of scoliosis I have, exercises will eventually get rid of it as it is not congenital but due to bad posture and lack of exercise. These shrugs seem to be the only thing that stretches the area of my mid back.

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Exercises for Neck, Mid Back Stiffness
by: Matthew Scott

Hi Al, glad to hear you're finding relief from those exercises. I would say just keep doing them if they're working. Long term problems require longer therapy and possibly permanent therapy in the form of specific exercises such as the ones you're doing.

Obviously it's also vital to eliminate the causes, such as the excess sitting, bad sleeping habits, etc. You may also find that regular massage will speed up the healing process. Massage is pretty much unbeatable for tight, sore, knotted muscles. Massage is also great for the emotional stress that often underlies (or at least contributes to) problems involving stiff, tight muscles in the upper back and neck.

Also, there are other exercises on this site that may be helpful for your neck and mid-back stiffness. I suggest you give them a try (if you haven't already)... check out the following exercises in the Back-Neck section: Back Twist, Back Arch and Upper Back Stretch.

Let me know if you have other questions regarding the exercises for neck/mid-back stiffness.

Regards,

Matthew

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