Everyone should know these 3 neck & shoulder exercises

Why do my shoulders, arms or neck hurt?

How are your neck and shoulders feeling today? If you’ve ever felt pain, soreness or stiffness around your neck, shoulders or arms, you should know that this is your body’s way of saying something isn’t quite right.

As a physiotherapist practice in Fremantle, we often see people who are experiencing neck and shoulder discomfort – in fact, it’s a common reason why people attend the clinic. Nowadays, many of us are working from home (with maybe not so great desk setups), which means many of us are feeling pain or discomfort in places we might have never experienced before. However, whether you work from home, out of an office, or in the field, there is always a risk of overusing certain muscle groups, and ultimately feeling pain or discomfort in our bodies as a result of our day-to-day lives.

There are various reasons why your neck and shoulders could be stiff or sore, including:

  • Incorrect computer, desk, office or chair set up
  • The way you handle your phone or mobile on a daily basis
  • Generally bad posture
  • A lack of breaks while working
  • Your sleeping arrangements including your pillow or mattress
  • Other injuries or musculoskeletal conditions

Whatever the reason may be behind your neck or shoulder pain, one thing is for certain – ignoring these issues won’t help. Our best advice is to book in with your physiotherapist, whether that’s somewhere else in Perth or Australia, or with us here in Fremantle, WA. Plus, you might also be eligible for a rebate from your private health insurer.


Our three favourite exercises for neck & shoulder stiffness:

It’s no secret that regular movement is good for the body. The same can be said for the neck. Moving the neck helps to lubricate the cervical joints and can reduce disc pressure. As a general guide, try to move throughout the day and avoid staying in one position for too long. When you do move or stretch, try to make a conscious decision to inhale deeply into the base of your lungs and use this to create more space in your spine.

While we always recommend seeing a qualified physiotherapist, here’s 3 of our favourite neck and shoulder exercises to get your neck moving:

1. Neck flexion and extension:

Bending forward, roll the neck forward so the chin rests on the front of the upper chest. Then extend your neck back to look up at the ceiling. If looking up is hard, try supporting the base of your head by interlacing your hands behind your neck as you control the neck extension.

2. Neck rotation:

Turn your head to the right and then to the left. Try doing this as you connect with your breath – breathing in as you lengthen the spine, and then breathing out as you turn. This will help the neck muscles relax as you turn.

3. Neck lateral flexion:

Side bending neck movements are unfortunately something we don’t do much of during the day. Start this movement by supporting your head, and place your right hand on your right ear. Take a breath out and begin to bend your neck to the right, while you lengthen your left shoulder down to stretch the left side of the neck.


Note: Try doing 3 repetitions of each neck movement, breathing out as you do so. This simple neck routine can be done regularly throughout the day. Remember slow and steady wins the race, so when it comes to your neck, it’s better to do less repetitions over a longer period of time, than too much in one day which could end up leaving you worse off.


Make your body a priority

It’s amazing the difference daily movement can make in not only reducing your neck and shoulder pain, but also in improving your quality of life. Neck, shoulder and arm pain are often areas of concern and can limit your ability to work effectively. Establishing a regular movement routine to undertake throughout the day will help manage symptoms and keep your body happier! If you’re living in Perth or Fremantle, you can always book in with our friendly team by calling 08 9433 4193 or click this link to make an appointment here.


AB Physiotherapy workshops and classes:

Did you know we run regular workshops and classes, including those focussing on posture, back issues, balance, yoga, and hips and knees? Head on over to this page to find out more.