This stretch for neck and shoulder pain can help with a lot of the tension that develops after sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you experience a lot of tightness in your neck and shoulders, this simple stretch may be able to help.

Start by sitting on a firm and supportive surface, such as a harder chair or an exercise ball (pictured). Make sure your legs are more or less at a 90-degree angle from your body, with your feet flat on the floor.

(Note that you can also do this posture standing, but if that’s the case, be sure that you’re not twisting your lower body as you perform the stretch.)

Place your left hand on your left hip. Start by gently lowering your right ear toward your right shoulder. Breathe deeply for 5 seconds as you work on relaxing the muscles in the left side of your neck.

Raise your right hand and place it on top of your head. At first you may just want to breathe with your hand resting there, adding a bit more weight and increasing the stretch.

If that feels comfortable, you can very gently press on the side of your head to increase the stretch in your neck.

Breathe deeply for 10 seconds. To come out of the pose, start by removing your hand, then slowly straighten your neck and head.

Switch sides and repeat.

Stretch for neck and shoulder pain