CSPM11 First Rib and Trapezius Stretching Exercise


To lower and mobilise the first rib at the neck/shoulder. Also to help stretch the trapezius muscle and muscles at the side of the neck and to increase the side-bending movement of the neck.


Starting Position:

Be standing with feet comfortably apart. Roll/fold a regular bath towel lengthways into a strip roughly 6 wide. Drape the towel strip evenly over the shoulder of the affected side. Grip the end of the strip hanging behind the back in the hand of the affected side, and the end at the front using the other hand.


Apply firm downward pressure to the shoulder by pulling simultaneously on each end of the towel. Then, slowly and in a controlled manner tilt the head away from the towel toward the opposite shoulder. When a stretch is felt in the neck, stop and hold the position for 20 seconds whilst breathing slowly and deeply. Return to starting position and repeat as prescribed.


It is essential to maintain firm downward pressure on the shoulder via the towel, or else the first rib and associated soft tissues will elevate as the head is tilted. Seek advice from your osteopath before performing this exercise