Scalene Muscles Stretch At Home For Neck Pain Relief

Chiropractic treatment for neck pain is very effective in providing neck pain relief. However, according to Dr. Oscar Noriega DC, there are some other things you can do at home for instant but temporary relief.

There is a neck stretch routine known as “scalene stretch”, which is very beneficial for neck pain relief. We have had many great results with our patients. 

Why do the scalene muscles get tight?

A scalene stretch is a therapeutic stretch routine that gives instant neck pain relief. The muscles on the side of your neck are called the scalene muscles, and there are anterior, middle, and posterior muscles. Instability in your neck causes neck pain, and that’s why chiropractic care is recommended to stabilize the spine and your neck structure. It’s due to this instability that the scalene muscles get tight and cause neck pain.

Scalene stretch is an effective routine to stretch out scalene muscles to help relieve tension that you might be experiencing as you work through the day on a computer or any technical device.


Here are the steps to do the stretch correctly.

  1. You will have to work on one side of the neck at a time. Take a seat, and place your hand and palm down under your buttock, but not under your thigh. Now sit up as straight and as tall as you can.
Dr. Oscar Noriega DC explaines How to stretch scalene muscles
  1. Keeping your hand under your buttock anchors your shoulder down on one side. Now reach over with your other hand, and place it just in front of your ear. And while your arm is anchored down, begin to pull over, trying to get the stretch to reach the side of your neck. 
  2. It’s important to try to keep your nose pointing as straightforward as you can. 
  3. Try not to let your head turn up or turn down; most people make this mistake. Try to keep your nose pointing straight ahead and pull over right down the middle.
  4. And then, you can pull forward to stretch the posterior scalene. You can also tip up a little bit to do the anterior scalene stretch. So we’re trying to stretch all three muscles- the one in the middle, the one in the front, and the back.
  5. Now stretch the other side. Place your hand palm down under your buttocks. Sit up tall and anchor your shoulder down. Reach just in front of the ear, and pull over. Once again, you can tip forward and tip back just a bit to stretch all scalene muscles.

We recommend holding the stretch for a little longer, about 30 seconds, in each of the three positions. While the exercise may take some time, it’s great for scalene muscle pain. You will feel a lot of relief as some of the tension is removed from your neck side.

Dr. oscar noriega DC - scalene release for treating neck pain


The stretch can also release a lot of tension across your shoulders or even the SCM muscles below the base of your skull. Many people have issues and instability in their neck that can lead to headaches, sinus issues, and congestion. All it takes is a scalene stretch for immediate relief from neck instability and pain. We recommend doing them a couple of times a day. You could start maybe once in the morning and once at night. After that, once you get comfortable and feel like the tension is released, then even doing it once a day will help you with neck pain and discomfort. You can also do it as often as you like at work or if you feel tired.  You can even do the stretch while reading your computer screen.

Excercise balls Dr. Oscar Noriega DC


There are other things involved, too, when it comes to neck pain relief. Stabilizing your spine through spinal manipulations is ultimately the number one fix. You may not even have to do these extra exercises, but there’s never any harm doing them. 

So if you or someone you know suffers from neck pain, visit Revolution Chiropractic Murfreesboro, or call 615-867-7693 to schedule an appointment.

Our spine chiropractors will evaluate your condition. Then, a customized chiropractic treatment plan will be created for you. This may include chiropractic adjustments to stabilize your spine. This will remove the pressure and tension off your muscles and nerves, leading to neck pain relief.

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About The Author
Dr. Oscar Noriega DC
Dr. Oscar Noriega, DC, is a trusted chiropractor who has been practicing for over ten years at Revolution Chiropractic Murfreesboro. He holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University. Dr. Noriega is also a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the Tennessee Chiropractic Association. He resides in Murfreesboro with his wife and two children.