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Posted on 02-06-2013

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     Are you sitting at a computer reading this? What about on your smart phone with your head flexed down? Do you feel that bit of tension creeping into your neck and upper back? It’s not normal, but don’t worry, it’s not at all un-common.

     I was sitting more than usual at the computer this morning doing paperwork and I started to feel that creeping and nagging tightness in my upper back and shoulders. You know that feeling. I get it, you get it, we all get it from sitting too much and being hunched at a desk or on our phones too often. In fact, most patients in my Monroeville Chiropractor office get it and I tell dozens of patients a day one great stretch to combat that feeling.

     It’s called a few things, but commonly called a “wall slide” or “scapular wall slide”. This is one of my absolute favorite stretches, I can’t recommend it enough and you can do it as often as you’d like.

     The way to do the stretch is as follows:


Press your butt, back and head against a wall. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and press both arms into the wall with the palms of your hands facing forward. Begin with your elbows tucked close to your sides and your hands at approximately shoulder level. Now slide your arms slowly upward against the wall until you look like a football referee signaling a touchdown. Keep your butt, back, shoulder blades, head, elbows and the backs of your hands pressed against the wall the whole way. Now slowly return to the start position and really squeeze your elbows close to your sides. That has the effect of lowering your shoulders and stretching/opening your trap muscles. There’s a great pic of it here:

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Pic source here.

     That’s it folks, but do it often. Especially do it if you’ve been sitting hunched for a while or have had your head flexed down. I tell the patients in my Penn Hills Chiropractor office to do it “more than they think they should”.

-    Dr. Brent Shealer – Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Penn Hills Chiropractor

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