Say Goodbye to Neck and Shoulder Pain with this ONE Simple Exercise

8th March 2016

In my last 3 blogs I have given you some tools to enable you to start targeting your Neck and Shoulder Pain and also to avoid you developing these symptoms if you not yet have. Assessment techniques are somewhat harder than the rehabilitation exercises we are going to cover today, so if you struggled with the assessment fear not, you will be absolutely fine with the rehabilitation exercises.

Slight muscle imbalance seen here, with the right shoulder blade lifting off the rib cage a bit. This could lead to Neck and Shoulder Pain. Slight muscle imbalance seen here, with the right shoulder blade lifting off the rib cage a bit. This could lead to Neck and Shoulder Pain.

We should now know how the majority of neck and shoulder pain is developed, however I am going to recap below;

  1. Poor posture – this leads to interruption of the muscles which drive this control centre, leading to imbalance and instability.
  2. Poor technique – talking about technique isn’t just applicable to sport. Poor technique refers to everyday life – the way you stand, walk, carry, run, sleep etc. The way you move, and remember we move ALL the time!
  3. Poor recruitment – this may be caused by poor posture and poor technique, but it can also be developed randomly through lack of autonomic activity and through compensation from previous injury (even if the injury had nothing to do with the neck and/or shoulders). Remember, the human body is insanely clever.
  4. Poor movement from the thoracic spine (the mid back) which is commonly related to poor posture, technique and recruitment, but may also be a genetic predisposition (this doesn’t mean it can’t be treated!).

How do we treat Neck and Shoulder Pain? What can YOU do to help? Today I am going to teach you 1 exercise that will help you say goodbye to your neck and shoulder pain, or to prevent it from occurring if it is not yet a problem. Let’s face it, unfortunately everybody experiences some sort of neck and/or shoulder pain in their life, so don’t look pas this exercise. TRY IT, and let me know how you get on.

Why this specific exercise?

There are MANY exercises that help with overcoming neck and shoulder pain. Any exercise you do must address 1 or more of the 4 points listed above to ensure an all-round approach is adopted. This exercise actually addresses ALL 4 points I listed above, that CAUSE the injury in the first place.

This exercise will help improve posture, technique, recruitment AND movement. If all those are functioning properly then the neck and shoulder pain you are experiencing or at risk of will reduce and the cause will be addressed. So, why not choose an exercise that addresses EACH CAUSE? (Also, this exercise is relatively straight forward, so with practice ANYBODY should manage it – GOOD LUCK!)

Right, lets get started then. Below is the one exercise that will ensure you say goodbye to your neck and shoulder pain.


Find yourself a resistance/theraband. Here is a link if you need to buy some, I would start with red, then green then blue

Start with the band around a door handle, and either end in either hand. Take a step back – you should have some resistance in there, with the band almost pulling your arms forward slightly.

Level 1:

Keeping your arms straight, pull your shoulder blades back and down. Count 5-10 seconds. *There MUST be an increase in band tension here. This means that you are working your postural muscles against resistance.

Level 2:

Keeping you shoulder blades back and down, begin to slowly pull your elbows back, bending them and keeping them tucked in by your sides. Count 5-10 seconds. *Don’t let your shoulders lift.

Level 3:

Keeping you shoulder blades back and down, begin to slowly return to level 1 position, without losing that contraction which is keeping your shoulder blade muscles activated. Count 5-10 seconds. *Don’t let your shoulder lift.

RELAX your shoulders and arms, allowing those shoulders to fall back to a natural position. Reset your position before doing another repetition.

Start with level one and progress to the following levels if you are able to keep good control and correct technique. You are better off sticking to a low level and mastering it before progressing.

Repeat this exercise as many times as you can keeping technique right, there is no specific repetition prescription because everybody is different.

TIP FOR EXERCISE FANATICS & ATHLETES: Use this exercise as a warm up before sports. It will help to set the shoulder blades and shoulders in the right position for optimal function and WILL ensure correct recruitment and technique, and prevent injury! Watch how much stronger you will feel after a few weeks of this!

Whether you are in pain or not, at Function360 we ensure each assessment is tailored to your individual needs. Your problem areas will be addressed and fixed, and the areas that are not yet problems, will be addressed before they develop. We create treatment plan with YOU, and teach you how to manage your own pain and prevent it from recurring or even occurring in the first place. We endeavour to help you to make your body Your Performance Innovation Centre.

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