Myofascial Release: Tight neck and shoulder self-treatment!

Everyone gets tight neck and shoulders, whether you are an athlete, office worker or new-mum and this easy myofascial release will give you huge relief!

Not only will this exercise ease neck and shoulder tension but also improve shoulder range, ease headaches, make you more upright and just make you feel great!

See the Video demo here or see below for an easy description.

upper traps, self trigger point knots, tension headaches treatmentThe upper trapezius (traps) knot up very regularly and cause you to feel tight, hunched over and can often cause stress and tension headaches. All you need as a firm self-massage/trigger point ball (Lacrosse ball is great if you’re in the USA!) and do the following exercise for a great myofascial release:






TP UT1Lie on your back with your knees bent up and place the ball under your upper traps as shown.  You will be able to feel the knots and tight muscles through this area (they will feel harder, often tender and like a marble or golf ball).






Self trigger point of upper traps and stress pointsNext bring your arm up and back towards the ground and then oscillate it up and down (grind it!).

Tip: If you do not feel it much, lift your bottom off the ground and put all your weight through the ball.

This is a fantastic technique and once you have tried you will see what I mean! For the is best results and long-lasting relief, do this every evening or as a break at work.

This myofascial release is great to combine with a couple of other things that will combine to create a long-term fix! It is important to look at the muscles (which we are doing here) AND the joints, so try out this easy spinal self-mobilization or this back stretch your mobility.

Let me know how you get on!

Please share and like and if you want more self-treatment exercises, check out our great Ebook


About PhysioPrescription

Providing you with easy and practical self rehab exercises, tools and techniques so that YOU can reach your peak.
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30 Responses to Myofascial Release: Tight neck and shoulder self-treatment!

  1. Barb S.G. says:

    I just got out of bed and did this exercise and my shoudlers and neck feel so much better! Thank you.,

    • PhysioPrescription says:

      Hi Barb – You are very welcome, a great way to start the day I bet.

      Try and keep it up for a couple of weeks and you will be feeling great.

  2. Margie says:

    I just pulled that very muscle!!! Doing this ASAP!!!

  3. ian parker says:

    Brilliant..I’ve had a stiff neck & back for months .seen lots of physios without much success. This technique is a miracle ! Thank you so much

  4. Sandra says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I store all my tension in this area and I always feel like this muscle is constantly (permanently) tight. Can’t wait to get some relief. Thank you.

    • PhysioPrescription says:

      No problem Sandra, you are absolutely not alone with having tension through this area – It is great to have a way to sort it out yourself!

      Let me know how you get on.

  5. Martha O'Kelley says:

    Thank you! I needed this desperately.

  6. George says:

    Great information! May I use the physiological graphic you have here for a safety topic for my office. We primarily use laptops and mobile devices and this is a common theme amongst employees

  7. Debbie says:

    I just finished a series of Myofasical Release through my chiropractor! IT IS AMAZING! I had rotor cuff surgery in 2008…shoulder was very tight, having headaches constantly, and I too carry all my stress in my shoulder. No longer having headaches and as the days go by, my shoulder is loosing up! she did not introduce this particular exercise…will be adding it to my exercises. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Mo says:

    Just did this & I was amazed! Thank you so much… It will be a regular exercise!

  9. Nikki says:

    As a person that does alot of crocheting, this is a great exercise to loosen those muscles up!!

  10. Valerie says:

    I’ve been meaning to try this for awhile. I finally did last night and it worked wonders when nothing else will. It’s my new favorite remedy for treating my chronic neck/shoulder pain! I highly recommend it for anyone else who suffers from it.

    • Kristi says:

      I’m currently in therapy for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) but the therapist & Dr said I also have neck issues that are affecting the nerves in my shoulder & arm. My neck always aches! I am definitely trying this! Thanks!

  11. marian says:

    for sure i will try this i hope its ok in bed since i am of an age where i cant get upoff the floor

  12. cmoodyok says:

    Marvelous with a tennis ball. What is difference in Lacrosse ball and tennis ball?

    • PhysioPrescription says:

      A tennis ball tends to be softer and less grippy but still does the job 🙂 As you improve, it may be a good way to step up the exercise by getting a firmer ball.

  13. Brenda J says:

    Would a foam roller work? If not going to see if I can buy a massage therapy ball. I live in Canada

    • PhysioPrescription says:

      Hi Brenda, not nearly as well as it won’t get into those sports around the shoulder blade very well. You can also try with a firm tennis ball or something similar aswell.

    • PhysioPrescription says:

      Hi Brenda, not nearly as well as it won’t get into those sports around the shoulder blade very well. You can also try with a firm tennis ball or something similar as well.

  14. Jen says:

    Thank you! I just started a new job and My shoulders have been tense all week, tried pain killers, massage, and heating pads- all without much relief. I just tried this exercise with a lacrosse ball and it’s amazing how I feel so much less tension after just a few minutes! Will be doing this on a regular basis! Thank you!

  15. PENNY says:

    I’ve been given something similar from therapists using two tennis balls in a sock. Lean on a wall and grind them from there. Also is helpful for other knots on the back.

  16. Franz Dinar Osida says:

    Hi! Will a tennis ball do? I tried it and oh my gosh I just felt my neck suddenly becoming softer

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