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Updated: Sep 9

Are you one of those who spend hours glued to your computer or smartphone screen? If the answer is affirmative, you've likely experienced the distress it causes to your neck and upper back. The shift to remote work and continuous ZOOM meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic have only intensified this issue for many.

Regrettably, poor work-from-home ergonomics has led to numerous of my patients grappling with pain resulting from postural stress. They're spending countless hours hunched over laptops on coffee tables, slouched on sofas, or lying on beds while working. Such improper work settings undoubtedly set the stage for escalating upper back tension, increased headaches, amplified neck pain, and various other potential issues.

Instead of delivering a lecture on ergonomics, I'd prefer to share some exercises that could help mitigate some of the issues arising from postural stress. I've also added some videos on manual therapies, which could assist you in recovering from these stress-induced injuries, facilitating your journey back to a pain-free life.


Vital Exercises for Neck, Shoulder, and Arm Relief

Exercise plays an incredibly significant role in maintaining and improving our overall health and well-being, especially when it comes to alleviating discomfort in areas like the neck, shoulders, and arms. It's much more than just a tool for weight management; it provides numerous benefits such as enhancing flexibility and mobility, strengthening muscles, and improving balance.

  1. Flexibility and Mobility: Regular exercise can significantly improve the flexibility and mobility of your body. These exercises designed for the neck, shoulders, and arms are aimed at stretching and elongating the muscles, thereby reducing stiffness and increasing the range of motion. This increased mobility can not only help alleviate pain but can also prevent future injuries by making the body more adaptable to various physical stresses.

  2. Strengthening: The exercises also focus on strengthening these areas. Strong muscles are crucial in supporting our skeletal system and reducing the load on our joints. Strengthening exercises for the neck, shoulders, and arms can help improve posture and alignment, reduce the likelihood of strain and injury, and help combat the physical toll of poor ergonomics and prolonged sitting.

The following exercises aim to loosen and strengthen the structures of your neck, shoulders, and arms. To reap the full benefits of these exercises, it's recommended that you perform the short routines multiple times throughout the day. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to exercise, and these exercises are designed to be easily integrated into your daily routine. They are simple yet effective steps towards better physical health and can provide relief from the aches and pains associated with prolonged periods of sitting or poor posture.

5 Minute Neck Pain Relief

Have a sore neck, try our "5 Minute Neck Pain Relief" routine. Doing this routine several times per day can make a huge difference in your neck pain.

5 Great Daily Shoulder Mobilization Exercises

The shoulders frequently tighten up and become restricted, causing neck and back pain. Perform these shoulder mobilization exercises throughout your day for the best results. These exercises can make a huge difference in your posture, especially if you have been sitting for a long period of time.

Correct Your Posture Now – Do Not Wait!

There has never been a better time to correct your posture than right now. Bad posture can affect your health on both a physical and emotional level. Poor posture is related to lower self-esteem, decreased energy levels, and lack of alertness. In addition, it can affect lung function, circulation, and digestion, and be a significant source of musculoskeletal pain.


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When Exercise Alone Doesn't Suffice

While exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and alleviating discomfort in areas such as the neck, shoulders, and back, there are instances when it falls short of completely addressing the issues at hand. If you're finding that despite regular exercise, the tension in your upper back and neck persists, it might be time to seek professional assistance.

The importance of examining and addressing the entire kinetic chain, including both soft tissues and joints, cannot be overstated. Pain and discomfort often arise from a complex interplay of factors across this chain. Therefore, a comprehensive approach that takes into account the functioning of the entire body system is often necessary to fully resolve the issues.

The videos provided below illustrate some of the potent and successful methods we frequently employ to alleviate tension, eliminate restrictions, and restore your body to its full functionality, free of pain. These strategies delve deeper into the complexities of the body, dealing with specific issues that may be beyond the reach of regular exercise. They are often instrumental in helping individuals regain a pain-free existence and improving overall quality of life.

Addressing Joint Restrictions

Addressing joint restrictions is a crucial step in resolving neck and shoulder pain. Joints are the points where two or more bones meet and allow for movement and flexibility. When these joints become restricted, either through injury, poor posture, or lack of movement, it can lead to discomfort, pain, and decreased mobility. This restriction can cause a ripple effect throughout the body, as other joints and muscles need to compensate for the lack of movement in the restricted area, often leading to an imbalance in the body's overall kinetic chain. This imbalance can exacerbate pain and lead to further injury.

Therefore, identifying and addressing joint restrictions is a vital part of pain resolution. By improving joint mobility, we can restore proper alignment, reduce strain on surrounding muscles and tissues, and ultimately alleviate neck and shoulder pain. Furthermore, healthy, unrestricted joints are key to preventing future episodes of pain, making this an essential aspect of long-term pain management and overall physical health.

The Impact of Chiropractic Adjustments on Posture-Related Neck Pain

Chiropractic adjustments serve as an effective solution, especially when addressing neck pain associated with poor posture. Studies indicate that patients experiencing neck or back pain due to improper posture, who engage in chiropractic care, often fare much better than those who do not. They not only experience pain relief more quickly but also witness faster recovery.

Chiropractic care is an integral strategy in rectifying postural imbalances that contribute to neck discomfort. By addressing joint restrictions throughout the body, chiropractic adjustments can help restore proper alignment and improve overall posture. This, in turn, alleviates pressure on the neck and back, reducing pain and enhancing mobility.

In the above video, Dr. Abelson demonstrates some of the techniques we utilize to manage joint restrictions across the body. These strategies are specifically designed to alleviate neck pain related to poor posture, offering a practical approach towards a more comfortable, pain-free life.

Neck Adjustment or Neck Mobilization – Which One Suits You Best?

It is crucial for a practitioner to evaluate whether neck adjustments are suitable for a patient's specific situation. For those who prefer not to undergo neck manipulation, we offer a safe and effective alternative in the form of Neck Mobilization. This technique aims to release restrictions in the cervical region without the use of forceful adjustments.

While Neck Manipulation can be a valuable tool for addressing joint restrictions, it may not be the optimal choice for many patients. For instance, cervical manipulation is generally not recommended for individuals above a certain age, those with severe osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, or patients with certain autoimmune conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Additionally, various other medical conditions may contraindicate the use of neck manipulation.

In such cases, Neck Mobilization provides a gentle yet efficient means of alleviating cervical restrictions, ensuring that the patient receives the most appropriate and personalized care for their needs.

Demonstration of Cervical Joint Mobilization - MSR

In this video, I showcase several instances of Cervical Joint Mobilization, a technique we impart to fellow practitioners during our Motion Specific Release (MSR) training sessions.

Please Note: These MSR Protocols are designed to be carried out exclusively by certified MSR practitioners. They are not intended for implementation by the general public. The videos we share serve solely for illustrative purposes!

Tackling Soft Tissue Restrictions In The Cervical Spine

The upcoming videos showcase several of the typical soft-tissue procedures we employ when treating patients experiencing neck pain. When it comes to effective treatment, it's essential to recognize the interconnectivity of our body's structures, often referred to as the kinetic chain. The kinetic chain refers to the notion that our bodies are interconnected systems, where an issue in one area can affect the function of others.

This concept is particularly true for the soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and fascia, in our body. The fascia, a continuous network of connective tissue, envelops and connects all the structures within our body, playing a pivotal role in transmitting forces and facilitating movement. When restrictions develop in this soft tissue, particularly in the cervical spine, it can disrupt this kinetic chain, causing pain, reducing mobility, and impairing function.

It's also crucial to understand that the location of the pain isn't always the source of the problem. Pain is often a symptom that arises due to imbalances elsewhere in the body. Therefore, effective treatment often involves identifying and addressing restrictions not only in the area of pain but throughout the entire kinetic chain.

By addressing these soft tissue restrictions in the cervical spine and elsewhere, we can restore the balance in the kinetic chain, alleviate pain, and improve overall function. The techniques shown in these videos are just some of the approaches we use to achieve this goal.

Four Point Neck Pain Protocol - Motion Specific Release

In this video, we delve into the importance of recognizing and addressing neck pain as a unique dysfunction that differs for each individual. It is crucial to approach every case with a tailored strategy, regardless of whether the pain originates from structures near the pain site or a more extensive kinetic chain. Dr. Abelson showcases his MSR treatment method and how it can effectively alleviate neck pain. Join us as we explore the intricacies of this prevalent issue.



In conclusion, dealing with neck, shoulder, and back pain, particularly associated with poor posture or prolonged sitting, requires a comprehensive and holistic approach. Exercise plays a vital role in enhancing flexibility and mobility, strengthening muscles, and improving balance. However, sometimes, exercise alone may not be enough to fully resolve the issues. In such cases, professional interventions like chiropractic adjustments and cervical joint mobilization become necessary.

It's important to recognize the interconnectivity of our body's structures and the role of the kinetic chain. Addressing joint and soft tissue restrictions not only in the area of pain but throughout the entire kinetic chain can lead to more effective and lasting relief. The various techniques and procedures highlighted in this article, from exercises to chiropractic adjustments, aim to provide a well-rounded approach to managing and overcoming pain.

Remember, each individual's situation is unique. So, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable approach for your specific needs. Ultimately, the goal is to alleviate pain, restore functionality, and improve the quality of your life.



Dr. Abelson is committed to running an evidence-based practice (EBP) incorporating the most up-to-date research evidence. He combines his clinical expertise with each patient's specific values and needs to deliver effective, patient-centred personalized care.

As the Motion Specific Release (MSR) Treatment Systems developer, Dr. Abelson operates a clinical practice in Calgary, Alberta, under Kinetic Health. He has authored ten publications and continues offering online courses and his live programs to healthcare professionals seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in treating musculoskeletal conditions. By staying current with the latest research and offering innovative treatment options, Dr. Abelson is dedicated to helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness.



  1. Maiers, M., Bronfort, G., Evans, R., Hartvigsen, J., Svendsen, K., Bracha, Y., ... & Schulz, C. (2018). Spinal manipulative therapy and exercise for seniors with chronic neck pain. Spine Journal, 18(9), 1539-1549.

  2. Blanpied, P. R., Gross, A. R., Elliott, J. M., Devaney, L. L., Clewley, D., Walton, D. M., ... & Cornelius, J. (2017). Neck pain: revision 2017. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 47(7), A1-A83.

  3. Wilke, J., Vogt, L., & Banzer, W. (2019). Immediate effects of self-myofascial release on latent trigger point sensitivity: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Biology of Sport, 36(4), 357-364.

  4. Alpayci, M., & Ilter, S. (2011). Effects of cervical mobilization techniques on range of motion and pain in the patients with neck pain: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 24(4), 215-220.

  5. Sremakaew, M., Jull, G., Treleaven, J., Barbero, M., Falla, D., & Uthaikhup, S. (2020). Effects of local treatment with and without sensorimotor and balance exercise in individuals with neck pain: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 21(1), 1-10.

  6. Stecco, C., Stern, R., Porzionato, A., Macchi, V., Masiero, S., Stecco, A., & De Caro, R. (2011). Hyaluronan within fascia in the etiology of myofascial pain. Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy, 33(10), 891-896.


The content on the MSR website, including articles and embedded videos, serves educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice; only certified MSR practitioners should practice these techniques. By accessing this content, you assume full responsibility for your use of the information, acknowledging that the authors and contributors are not liable for any damages or claims that may arise.

This website does not establish a physician-patient relationship. If you have a medical concern, consult an appropriately licensed healthcare provider. Users under the age of 18 are not permitted to use the site. The MSR website may also feature links to third-party sites; however, we bear no responsibility for the content or practices of these external websites.

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