Neck and upper back pain are common complaints. In a world where our attention is constantly being pulled downward to our phones, fortunately relief can be found through some simple stretches. These stretches will help you to loosen stiff, tense muscles and gain strength, flexibility and limberness. Use slow and smooth movements to give muscles a deep, healthy stretch.

Shoulder Roll
While standing, lift your shoulders straight up. In a circular motion, roll your shoulders forward five times. Repeat this process, but with the shoulders moving backwards this time. Repeat sequence two to three times.

Forward and Backward Tilt
While standing or sitting, begin by straightening your spine and allowing your head to be in alignment with your upright back facing forward. Gently drop your chin down toward your chest. Relax into the position and count to 20 before slowly returning back to your beginning stance. Now, tilt your chin upward toward the ceiling. Relax into the position, count to 10 and return to your beginning stance. Repeat this sequence two to three times.

Side Tilt
While standing with your feet hip-width apart, allow your arms to rest at your sides. Gently drop your head to your right shoulder as if you are trying to rest your ear on your shoulder. Feeling the effect in the left side of your neck, do not raise your shoulder to meet your ear. Stop tilting your head once you feel the stretch and hold it for 10 seconds before returning back to the original position. Repeat this process on the other side, dropping your left ear towards your left shoulder this time. Repeat this sequence five or more times.

Overhead Arm Reach
While standing or sitting with your feet hip-width apart, extend your right arm straight above your head, then reach to the left. Bend your torso until you feel the stretch in your right shoulder and hold for 15 seconds. Return into the original position, repeating five times total with the right arm. Repeat the process five times with the left arm as well.

Spending time stretching daily can greatly reduce discomfort. Massage Therapy of Boston wants to remind you to care for your body by staying active and always stretching!