Pain Relief

5 Ways to Get Neck and Shoulder Blade Pain Relief

Strong core + pelvic floor beyond kegels
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Hey, I'm Dr. Melissa

A doctor of physical therapy, yoga instructor, and integrative nutritional health coach who loves blending all of these to help you move better & feel your best! I'm also totally obsessed with matcha lattes, hot chips, and bright yoga pants.

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neck and shoulder blade pain relief


Have you been noticing neck and shoulder blade pain that just doesn’t seem to go away? Or maybe it comes for you after sitting for 2 hours at your desk or lifting and carrying your kiddos?! Here’s the thing, there are a number of different reasons as to why this can be happening, but I have found with so many of my clients that working on their breathing techniques & movements to be by far the most beneficial!

So, let’s just get right into it…do NOT miss #3!

5 moves to help ease painful neck and shoulders
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Levator Scapulae Myofascial Release

Such a painful bugger! This muscle sits on the back and side of your neck attaching to the top inside border of your shoulder blade to part of your cervical spine at levels 1-4. When tight and irritated this muscle can send referral pain to the inside border of your shoulder blade to your base of your neck.

Let’s Do This:

1.      Place tennis/lacrosse ball on the top inside border of your shoulder blade (you will know when you hit the spot)

2.      You can do either laying on the ground or at the wall

3.      Use your breath to ease into it

4.      On your inhale take your arm overhead

5.      You can also turn your head to look down at the opposite arm pit

6.      1 minute each side

Show me how this myofascial release technique is done!



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Yoga Block for Head

This technique is a great remedy for headaches, pain at the base of your skull, or stiffness in your neck! It’s basically like a spa day at home, yes please with this self-care move!

Let’s do this:

1. Use a yoga block, foam roller, or tennis ball on yoga block

2. Place at base of your skull and top of your neck

3. Gently turn your head from side to side

4. When you find a spot you can hold or hold and make small circles

5. 1-2 minutes



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Mid Back Extension

Fan favorite and biggest bang for your buck! Our mid backs can get really stiff and tight, especially if we have been sitting for prolonged periods of time, lifting and carrying, or have been non-stop scrolling our devices. Getting more mobility in your mid back (thoracic spine) not only helps relieve tension in your neck, but will also improve your shoulder range of motion. Added bonus is can even help with low back tightness!

Lets Do This:

1.      Place a foam roller, rolled up towel or yoga mat, or yoga block right across your shoulder blade area

2.      Keep your knees bent & hands supporting your head

3.      Gently bend over your roller or block until you feel stretch in mid back (careful to not arch your low back)

4.      1-2 minutes




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Nerve Glides

Sometimes holding a stretch for prolonged periods of time can just irritate your tissues more, which can then lead to more breath holding. And nobody wants that! This is why I love moving in and out of stretches. Our nerves move throughout our body and we want them to glide like floss back and forth. Sometimes our nerves do not glide smoothly, especially if we are stressed out, and can cause more tightness throughout bodies. Give this one a try and make sure you are breathing!


Lets Do This:

1.      Take your left hand behind your back over to your right hip

2.      Have your right hand grab and gently pull

3.      Drop your right ear to your right shoulder then head over to the other side

4.      5-8x each side then switch


Breathing Techniques

Ok so saved the best for last! If you start implementing any of these, please let it be the breathing!!!! You will notice an immediate change. It only takes 60 seconds for us to calm our nervous system down from that flight or fight mode to rest and digest. This helps calm those nerves and alleviates that tightness feeling.

For more quick and easy ways to get rid of neck and shoulder pain that have helped so many others and myself included check out Neck and Shoulder Tension for long last relief!


And just one more resource for you upper body mobility gains for stiffness relief!


Still have some questions lets chat! 15 minute call to problem solve!

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