This Overlooked Stretch Can Help Improve Neck and Shoulder Pain

People often come to me with neck and shoulder problems that just don’t seem to go away.  They have usually tried physical therapy, pain medications and in some cases dry needling and deep tissue massage all with little or no improvement.

In cases like these I add two things to their treatment protocol.  The first is stretching the pectoralis muscles. The pectoralis muscles run from roughly the sternum out to the shoulder. When tight, as they are on virtually everyone these days, they pull the shoulder forward stressing the neck and middle back. This causes shoulder pain, neck pain and back pain and leads me to the next aspect of treating these kinds of problems.

Chiropractic adjustments. Without adjusting all the stretching in the world won’t lead to lasting improvement because when the shoulder is pulled forward is causes the spinal vertebrae in the neck and middle back to shift slightly which pinches the nerves exiting the spine in the neck and mid back. Muscle reacts to the nerve being pinched by tightening up because your body looks at this nerve being pinched as an injury and is trying to protect itself. This perpetuates the problem which usually gets worse over time as the pinching on the nerve becomes steadily worse.

Remember also that nerves exiting the spine go two primary places, the organs and muscles, and anything at the end of a pinched nerve will not be functioning at 100%.  In the case of the neck and upper back the heart, lungs and thyroid may be affected which further decreases the overall health of the body.

Usually once I implement these two things the problem gets better pretty quickly. As the nerve flow is restored and muscle function improves the majority of symptoms disappear as the body takes care of its own healing quite nicely.  The pec stretch also often addresses the muscles most responsible for pulling the vertebrae out of place so its important as well.

If you are having shoulder, neck or mid back problems contact us. We offer free consultations so you can know if I think I can help you with your problem.  I see 2-3 shoulder pain cases a week so I’m very familiar with the areas involved and how to treat them.  You can call us, message us on Facebook or just stop in. We’ll do everything we can to get you feeling better.



Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+


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