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Treatment for Neck Pain: Five Top Chiropractor Suggested Neck Stretches to Relieve Neck Pain and Tension 

by Dr. Valerie Girard, Chiropractor,  Santa Barbara

Chiropractic Care and Neck Stretches: Treatment for Neck Pain.


Searching for an experienced chiropractor in the Santa Barbara area to relieve neck pain? Can a chiropractor fix neck pain? Absolutely!


Dr. Valerie Girard, one of the best and most experienced chiropractors in Santa Barbara county, has been helping people with neck pain relief for over 30 years. Her adjustments are gentle and she can loosen up tight muscles and joints  of the cervical vertebrae in the neck area. She has many techniques for quickly getting patients out of pain, In addition, she shows her patients a series of neck stretches to prevent further pain in the future.

Neck Stretches can easily be performed lying down, sitting or standing. We want to stretch our neck muscles daily, especially if we spend a lot of time behind a computer or do a repetitive motion with our arms or lift heavy items on a regular basis. The neck muscles include the trapezius muscles  (traps) which if tight, cause neck pain and stiffness. Always check with your doctor or chiropractor before performing stretches as if they are not done correctly they can cause injuries.

What causes neck pain? There are a variety of causes of neck pain. If one or more of your vertebrae gets out of alignment it can pinch the nerves between the vertebrae and cause extreme pain. You can also suffer from a neck injury such as whiplash, where the neck is abruptly thrown from side to side or up and down. Neck pain can be caused from a degenerative disc, neck strain and other reasons.

Can a chiropractor relieve neck pain or a stiff neck?

Absolutely. Dr. Girard specializes in helping patients with neck stiffness, pain and spasms. Over the last thirty years, with gentle adjustments and specific neck stretching exercises, Dr. Girard has helped hundreds of patients with many kinds of neck issues. Neck issues can cause headaches and pain, so it is a good idea to see an experienced chiropractor who can help. Sometimes relief from neck pain can be immediate.

Dr. Valerie Girard's Top Five Stretches for Neck Stiffness:



Look forward, tip chin to chest, pause, return to upright.

Tilt head right, pause, return to upright.

Repeat to the left.

Place two fingers from each hand below occiput, til head back slowly, use fingers to push head back to upright.



Look to the diagonal right. Tilt head back.  Hold forehead while you attempt to nod towards right oblique. After 5 seconds, pause and then gently pull head back and to the left.  Reverse sides.



Place two fingers at the bottom of each side of the neck. Gently push the neck to the right with the left fingers and then to the left with the right fingers. Continue alternating and sliding up the neck, pushing the neck to opposite side with the two fingers.



Place finger tips on both clavicles. Tilt head back and stick jaw forward.



Lace fingers together. Place behind neck. Bring elbows together. Place elbows on table or counter top while bending at waist. Pull head away from body with your clasped hands as you push your chest towards the floor.

6. Shoulder Opener 101

a.Walk up to a wall and place your hands, fingers pointing up and shoulder height on the wall.

b.Take a full step away from the wall, and plant your feet, hip width apart and toes pointed forward.

c.Bend at the waist so that you are at an 90º angle.

d.Straighten your arms and let your head hang towards the floor.

e.Now lower your chest towards the floor, stretching through your armpits.

f.Take several deep breaths and lower yourself further with each exhalation.

g.When you are done, take a step towards the wall with an inhalation.

Tips for a Pain-Free Neck:


1. Keep your neck flexible and stretch daily.

2. Get a good neck pillow for sleeping.

3. Practice good posture

4. Deep breathing

5. Make sure your work desk is ergonomically correct so as to not strain your neck.

6. Yoga can be beneficial for your neck. For example, the bridge pose shown here,

can stretch the back of the neck. "Wall Dog" as we commonly call it, is a great

stretch for the neck off the wall.

traction pose dr girard.jpg
neck stretch 1 dr girard.jpg
tracton dr girard.jpg
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