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The 1st neck exercise is called Cervical Flexion and Cervical Extension and it can be done seated. You want to start by tucking your chin in and gently bringing your head foward and attempting to touch the chin to the chest. Next, gently bend the head backwards as far as it will go. Repeat this exercise 5 times. Forward head flexion is great for those patients who suffer from hypertonic parapinals in the neck- which means tightness and pain in the back of the neck. The cervical paraspinal muscles lie right next to the cervical spine.
Exercises that will make your Neck Stronger
What Else Can One Do in Conjunction with Neck Exercises?
Neck exercises, whether strenthening or stretching are beneficial, but they are not the only thing that you can do.
The next neck exercise is called Lateral Flexion of the neck. Bring your left ear to your left shoulder as far as you are able to. Remember not to rotate or turn your head when you are doing this neck stretch, as you want to isolate the muscles involved in lateral flexion. Hold this position for 10-15 secionds. Repeat on the right side: Bring your right ear to the right shoulder. Repeat this for 5 times.
Neck Lateral Flexion
Next part of the stretching sequence is called Rotation of the Cervical Spine. In this neck exercise you want to turn your head to the right as far as you possibly can, trying to bring your chin over your shoulders. When you are doing this neck exercise, do not bring up your shoulders. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds. Next do this on the left side of the neck and repeat for 5 times.
**** If you are having acute neck pain, you may not be able to do this exercise fully. That is okay. Turn your head and neck as far as it will go without pain and hold it at that point. Each time you do the exercise you will find that you will be able to do more and more.
Exercising Your Neck the Right Way
Doing exercises for the neck is very important. This includes stretching and strengthening. In fact, recent studies have shown that exercising in general plays a positive role in chronic pain.
Who Can Benefit from Neck Exercises
Neck strengthening exercises
Forward head posture
Other things that you can do to have a healthier neck
Products that Will Work Well with Exercising:
Acute & Chronic Neck Pain Patients Can benefit from Exercise
Doing neck exercises is very important not only when you are in pain, but also to keep your neck muscles strong and prevent any injuries. Neck exercises fall into two categories:
Having weak neck muscles can be a cause for certain painful conditions. It can contribute to such things as:
Indications for Neck Exercises
Neck exercises can be done easily at home and don't take very long. Anyone who suffers from neck pain or stiff due to a health condition (such as arthritis)or even an acute neck injury such as whiplash can benefit. So who can neck exercises help:
Why is Neck Posture Important
Your neck muscles do many actions everyday. For example:
Each of the muscles in your neck performs multiple functions. For example, the Splenius Capitus which is located in the back of your neck rotates your head from one side to the other and it also allows you to extend your head.
Believe it or not there are exercises that one can do to strengthen the neck muscles.
Neck posture is very important. Bad neck posture can cause neck muscles to be strained, especially if this neck posture is chronic. Also doing something that would cause your neck to be in a compromised position can cause a stiff neck, tight shoulder muscles and a trapezius that hurts at the gentlest touch.
Forward Head Posture
How often have you seen a person whose head just sticks out, to the point that their head is way over their body, to the point that "something" looks abnormal? This is called forward head posture, or anterior head carriage? According to Kapandji (author of Physiology of the Joints, Volume III), for every one inch that your head moves forwards, it gains 10 pounds in weight, as far as the muscles in your upper back and neck are concerned. This means that they have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest. This also forces the suboccipital muscles (they raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the 3 Suboccipital nerves. This nerve compression is one reason that many people suffer from headaches at the base of the skull. Pressure on the suboccipital nerves can also mimic sinus headaches that are located in the front.
Forward head carriage that is chronic (also known as hyperkyphotic neck posture) puts compressive loads upon the upper thoracic vertebra (your mid back bones), and is also associated with the development of Upper Thoracic Hump, which can devolve into Dowager Hump when the vertebra develop compression fractures (anterior wedging).
One way to work on forward head carriage is to do exercises that involve bringing your head back and holding it there in that position for 30 seconds to one minute. A posture pulley neck excercise device can help with getting rid of forward head carriage.
At the Neck Pain Support Blog, we have dedicated many posts to helping you have a healthier neck. One of our posts, entitled, Strengthening Your Neck Muscles for Better Health shows you exercises that you can do at home to make your neck muscles stronger.
The neck exercises below combine range of motion (ROM) against light/partial resistance in 4 directions (forwards, backwards, and left side bending and right side bending). This work on the four ranges of motion of the cervical spine:
Neck Strengthening Exercises
When doing exercises, they must be performed correctly, in order to avoid injury. They should be performed slowly, and you should stay within your “pain boundaries”. Never do an exercise to the point of pain. The purpose of neck exercises is to increase your range of motion, reduce stiffness/tightness, and strengthen your neck muscles.
The neck exercises below combine range of motion (ROM) against light/partial resistance in 4 directions (forwards, backwards, and left side bending and right side bending). To do these correctly follow these instructions: Pretend that you are involved in an arm wrestling contest:
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