Tennis Neck Stretches - Tiffany Hodges

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Having tightness or pain over your shoulder blade and into the neck while moving your head when hitting serves and overheads?  

You may have strained a muscle in your neck, a very common injury during tennis.  These muscles, specifically one called the levator scapulae, can cause severe pain during overhead motions and can be easily treated in physical therapy with hands on techniques such as dry needling, fascial release and massage.  Below are some stretches that can help relieve tension in your neck.  Keep all stretches gentle and hold for at least 30 seconds on each side.

Sideways neck stretch ("Listen"):  Keeping your left hand holding onto a chair or table, let your head fall sideways to the right so that your ear is aimed towards your right shoulder, resulting in a gentle stretch to the left side of the neck.  You may gently put your R hand on top of your head to allow the weight to increase the stretch.  Hold for at least 30 seconds, three times, switching back and forth between sides.

Forward angled stretch ("Look") :  Keeping your left hand holding onto a chair or table, let your head fall at an angle to the right as if you are trying to look towards your armpit or opposite hip, resulting in a gentle stretch to the back left side of the neck.  You may gently put your R hand on top of your head to allow the weight to increase the stretch.  Hold for at least 30 seconds, three times, switching back and forth between sides.  

Try these stretches out before you play and see a change in your pain and neck mobility!  The stretches will not fix the problem, but they will relieve some of your symptoms.  Come in for a free consult if you are having the above symptoms so you can find out more how we can get you back to pain free tennis!  If you have any questions, feel free to come in for a free consult at any of our offices.