3 Tips To Release Muscle Knots in the Neck

So do you have tension in your neck and shoulders? Are your muscles full of knots? Watch this video to learn how to relieve those muscle knots in your upper back and neck.

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We provide content on physical therapy, pilates, and health and wellness. So how do you handle the tension in your neck and shoulders?

What do you do after a day of slouch posture sitting at the computers looking at the screen? By the end of this video you'll know three ways to get rid of knots in your upper traps or your upper trapezius muscles.

I've helped thousands of patients over my 23 year career as a physical therapist. My name is Stephen Dunn and I own CORE Therapy and Pilates with my wife Cheryl Dunn and I would love to help you as well.

3 Tips to Release Muscle Knots in the Neck

Upper Trapezius Stretch/Upper Trap Stretch

All right so first we're going to do is a stretch called the upper trapezius stretch or the upper trap stretch which is the muscle that these knots are accumulating in most of the time.

Hand behind your back and then the other hand up above the ear and pull straight to the side, yep there you go.

Now as we do this I want you to hold it for about five big inhales and exhales and basically this is a muscle that goes from the base of the skull here all the way down.

It's a huge muscle called the trapezius like this but we're affecting the upper trapezius and now go ahead and switch sides for us so the hand is behind the back reaching up behind the small of the back reaching up and over and stretching all through here.

Again about four or five, six big deep breaths and you can also do this in the hot shower and Stella is chewing on Fred (the skeleton)... all right let's go ahead and relax in there.

Tennis Ball in the Pillowcase

All right the next one we're gonna do is call the tennis ball in the pillowcase. Okay and so what we're going to do we got a tennis ball right here.

Stella is liking the tennis ball... we got a tennis ball and we're going to put the tennis ball in a pillowcase and by putting the tennis ball in a pillowcase then it allows you to use the pillowcase.

It's kind of like a guide to put it right where you want it and then you put that ball right up here and soften that, yep and then you would lean into the wall and as you lean into the wall.

Pretend my hand is the wall here, we're putting that pressure right into that spot, the muscle that we just stretched so the muscle that we just stretched right through here we're now putting that tennis ball right into that spot so leaning into the wall.

Now take your left hand and reach it overhead and that would be the motion, pretending that this is a wall right here.

Sternal Lift 

The next one we're going to do is call the sternal lift. Now the sternum is the front bone, the chest bone, the breast bone right through here and with the sternal lift what we're going to do is we're going to lift the sternum but we're going to also squeeze the shoulder blades together.

So squeeze the shoulder blades together and lift the sternum and relax and we're going to hold that for five seconds and do 10 of those... and squeeze the shoulder blades together make sure you're tightening the abdominals a little bit as well.

You're lifting the sternum and that sternal lift is getting you out of that slouch and looking down at your computer, looking down at your phone, looking down at your device.

Those are the three steps that I want you to work on to help relieve those muscle knots. So comment below and tell me how this video has helped you and how those muscle knots feel now. I want you to go to my website and download my free guide on neck and shoulder pain.

It'll give you tips and tricks that you can start working on immediately to help with your muscle knots. Thanks for watching the first in our series of three on how to get muscle knots out of your neck.