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Exercises & Yoga for Neck Pain and Spondylosis

 

Extension and flexion is especially helpful when you feel your neck and back stiffen. While sitting, place your hands on your knees and push down.

 

Flextion

This is the movement of bringing the head forward so that the chin hits the chest and your face is staring straight down at the floor. Do slowly five times.This exercise stretches the structures at the back of the cervical spine, which are often kept in a tight position in normal day to day postures. They can then become shortened and stop the neck moving naturally (see below - right).

 

 
 

To make this more difficult you can retract the neck slightly to start with (see above - right) and then flex the head forward, increasing the stretch on the neck. Forward head flexion is great for those patients who suffer from hypertonic cervical parapinals- which is essentially pain in the back of the neck. This exercise can be progressed by adding gentle pressure with your hands behind your head to hold the end range position. Hold time can be up to 1 minute or until headache resolves. This exercise can be modified by retracting your chin to end range prior to bending your head and neck forward to bias the stretch to the upper neck region.

Extention


 

This is the movement of allowing the head to go back until the face is looking directly at the ceiling. Donít do this movement fast or forcefully as it forces all the small joints at the back of the neck into an extreme position. This wonít do them any harm but might increase your pain.

Allow your neck to ease back steadily as you do this, leaving your neck at the end of the movement for a few seconds.

 

NB If you feel dizzy when you do this leave it out. Dizziness, especially if you are older, might indicate that the blood vessels in your neck are being squeezed by the position.

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Rotation

Turn your head slowly round to one side until it cannot easily go any further. Once you have done five to one side do the other. Do not go from one side to the other in the individual movements or roll your neck about.

Hold your neck at the end of the movement for a few seconds as this is the most valuable part of the movement to maintain or increase your movement. If you feel dizzy when you do this leave it out. Dizziness, especially if you are older, might indicate that the blood vessels in your neck are being squeezed by the position.

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Side Bend

Side bends increase your side-to-side flexibility. Start by lacing yourfingers together and pointing your elbows outward. Bend at the waist,tilting your body to one side as far as you can. Then bend your headand neck in the same direction. Repeat on your other side. Repeat thisexercise 10 times.

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Sit And Twist

 

This exercise increases the flexibility of your entire spine. To begin, laceyour fingers together and point your elbws outward. Slowly and gentlytwist at your waist, rotating your head and neck to the same side.Repeat toward the other side. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

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Side / Lateral flexions (Tilt)

Keep your head facing straight forward and try and tip your ear down towards the same shoulder. Itís difficult to do this well and without rotating to one side. Sheís doing pretty well in the picture, just lifting her chin up a little more than ideal. This movement is quite severe on the neck joints so donít go hard at the exercise. Donít move from side to side in the movement as that stops you getting to the ends of the neck range and may aggravate your joints.

This movement is quite severe on the neck joints so donít go hard at the exercise. Donít move from side to side in the movement as that stops you getting to the ends of the neck range and may aggravate your joints.

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Neck Retraction (Chicken Tuck)

This is one of the most useful neck movements as it counteracts the tendency we all have of allowing our heads to poke forwards in a poor posture. Sheís showing the extreme position of ďpoking chinĒ here.

When we sit, which many of us do a lot of the time, we tend to slump and to keep our heads up so our eyes are horizontal we arch our necks backwards slightly. This gives a continual flexion (bending) posture to the lower neck and an extension (arching) posture to the upper neck. Over time the tissues can shorten and give us stiffness and pain. Typical pains are in the neck, upper shoulders, but this posture can also give you headaches. Hereís the end point of the movement. Keep your face straight on during the whole movement, drawing the head back and the chin down slightly.

Do a chin tuck. Keeping your chin parallel to the ground, bring your head straight back until you feel a pull at the top of the back of the neck where it connects to the base of the skull

If you get it right, you will look funny, rather like a sergeant-major in an exaggerated military neck posture. If you do it in public people will either laugh or give you funny looks! The whole movement is like the forward and back movement that chickens make. Hold the movement at the extreme of the backward posture for a few seconds.

This exercise may be progressed by adding gentle pressure with your fingertips on your chin to hold the end range position.

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With this next cervical strengthening exercise place your hand against the side of your head. Try to bring to your ear to your shoulder, resisting the motion. Repeat this exercise on the other side. Hold each position for 5 seconds and when finished relax slowly.

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For this neck stretching exercise you want to stand with you feet shoulder width apart and place your hands behind your head. Bend from side to side, making sure to bend only with the upper back area and not with the waist or hips. Try to reach the upper elbow to the celing. Hold each movement for 3-5 seconds. Now do the same thing with the left side.

In the final cervical strengthening exercise, put your right hand against the right temple. Attempt to turn your chin to your right shoulder, resisting the motion. Repeat this on the left side. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax slowly. Do this neck exercise 3 times.




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