Releasing Tight Neck Muscles

The occipital release: Devote 5 minutes to your neck every night to improve your experience with a tight neck

The occipitals are a small collection of muscles at the base of your skull which often go unaccounted for when it comes to stretching. They become overly tight because of chronic forward head posture, sitting too much and overuse of screens; this tightness can be responsible for headaches, dizziness and soreness in the neck. Fortunately, there is an easy way to release the occipitals from tightness by using household materials.


The occipital release: 

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Use something like a tennis ball or a foam roller and place it under your neck.
  • Turn your head and roll over the different areas right at the base of the skull. 

Massage the sternocleidomastoid:

  • Locate the muscle that connects from the middle of your throat to behind your ear. 
  • Turn your head in the opposite direction of the one you are massaging.
  • Release it by gently using your fingers to massage and roll the muscle.
  • Repeat on the other side. 

These are simple techniques that are extraordinarily effective for releasing muscle tension in the neck. At our office in Hackensack, we focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles which support the head. They are bound to get tight at times, but with a little awareness and attention to them each night after work, you can keep pain and tightness at bay. 

Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C.

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