Cervical (Neck) Exercises
Often, with a sore neck, it is difficult to have a full range of motion. While gentle stretching is important to try to regain the range of motion, strengthening can be done without having to move too much. This can be achieved with isometrics.
Isometric exercise is done by having the muscles contract, but they don’t change their length. In other words, they contract but don’t move.
To strengthen the muscles that flex your head forward, hold you hands to resist head movement, and try to push your head against your hands.
Similarly, to strengthen the muscles that extend your neck, put your hands behind your head, and using your neck muscles, push against your hands.
The same can be done for the side muscles.
Also, patients often find that cervical traction is helpful, especially for those patients who have pain down their arm from nerve root compression.
The traction would be used for about five minutes twice a day. There is very little risk of doing damage to yourself with this type of treatment.
A cervical traction device like this can be purchased either from our office, from a medical supply store, or easily located online, like by a google search.
Also, although the neck seems far from the legs, it does help to maintain some general conditioning, such as through a walking program. There is a great benefit, from many different perspectives, of getting some exercise, like a 20-30 minute walk, 3-4 times a week.