Neck (Cervical) Exercises
The following exercises may help with neck pain
The following stretching program should be performed everyday for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. If there is a particular exercise that causes you to have increased pain then discontinue that exercise. Carefully read the instructions before proceeding with each exercise.
Sit upright and look straight ahead. Shoulders should be level and relaxed. Hold this position for 15-20 secs. This is the starting position for all neck stretches.
Right and Left Rotation
From the neutral position, gently rotate your neck to the right while keeping your shoulders relaxed. Hold for 5 secs. Turn your head back to the starting position and then repeat, turning left.
Right and Left Lateral Bending
From the neutral position, gently bend your head to the right. Hold this position for 10 secs then return to the starting position. Repeat this stretch to the left. Repeat this series several times.
Flextion and Extention
From the neutral position, gently bend your head forward and hold for 5-10 secs. Repeat this several times. From the neutral position, gently bend your head backwards. Hold this for 5 secs and repeat several times.
Starting from neutral position, draw your chin backwards toward your neck and hold for a few seconds followed by moving your chin away from your spine (without moving your head up or down).
While looking straight ahead, draw your shoulders upward (without lifting your arms). Hold for 5 secs and relax. Repeat this several times.
Levator Scapula Stretch
Gently grasp the side of your head while reaching down with your opposite arm. Tilt your head away until you feel a stretch. Hold for 5 – 10 secs. Repeat on opposite side.
From the neutral position, place your left hand on top of your head and gently pull your neck to the left. Hold this position for 5 – 10 secs and then repeat to the right side.
Stretch your arms out from the body and clasp one hand over the other. Gently bend your head forward and reach outward until you feel a stretch to the shoulder blades. Hold for 5-10 secs and repeat.
From the neutral position, gently flex your neck forward and apply a light amount of pressure forward by placing both hands behind your head. Hold for 10 secs and repeat.
From a sitting position, bend your right knee and twist your body so that you can place your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. You should feel this stretch in your mid back. Hold for 10 secs and repeat.
From the neutral position, gently flex your neck forward and apply a light amount of pressure forward by placing both hands behind your head. Bring elbows towards your back. Hold for 10 secs and repeat.
Ball on Neck
Use a small ball to reduce tightness along the side of your neck. Increase pressure if necessary.
Position of Comfort
Use this position to relax neck muscles. Lay on firm surface. Can also be used for your sleeping position.
Disclaimer: You should avoid any exercise which causes you to have increasing pain or other symptoms. Consult with a medical professional before beginning any exercise program.
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