Exercises For Cervical Spondylosis: Flexibility, Isometric and Stretching Exercises

Nowadays most of the people have a long hour’s desk job with a very low activity level. The modern lifestyle is a reason behind many of them suffering from back pain, stiffness, and other symptoms which point towards cervical spondylosis. Cervical spondylosis is a medical condition which occurs when the joints and the disc in the cervical region get affected. It mostly occurs with age but can be caused by other factors as well. This article deals with some of the most effective exercises for cervical spondylosis.

The most common symptom presented in cervical spondylosis is pain in and around the cervical blade which increases on standing, sneezing, coughing, and tilting the neck backward. Other symptoms are tingling, numbness, and weakness in arms, lack of coordination and difficulty walking, and sometimes loss of control of bladder and bowel.

Exercises For Cervical Spondylosis

Exercises For Cervical Spondylosis

The treatment options for cervical spondylosis are the over the counter medications such as muscle relaxants, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drugs. There are various exercises for cervical spondylosis which prove to be beneficial in providing relief from the discomfort caused by the cervical spondylosis.

Exercises for cervical spondylosis are classified into three types: Flexibility, Isometric and Stretching Exercises.

Flexibility Exercises

These are some of the best exercises for cervical spondylosis. These exercises helps in maintaining the flexibility and the range of motion of the neck. It has the following subtypes,

Neck Flexion And Extension

This flexibility exercise stretches the front and back muscles of the neck. Stand straight or sit straight on a chair. Slowly bring the head down till the chin touches the chest. Hold on for 10 seconds, and then return to the same position. Now lean the head backward and hold in position for 10 sec before coming back to the normal posture.

Repeat this exercise at least 5 times in each direction.

Left and Right Side Head Tilt

This is a stretch exercise for the muscles present at the side of the neck. Hold up the neck in a sitting or a standing position. Slowly tilt the head towards the right side keeping the right shoulder down. Hold for 10 seconds and bring the head back to normal position. Repeat the same by switching the side. Repeat it 5 times each.

Neck Rotation

This is another exercise for the side of the neck. Stand straight or sit on a chair. Turn the head towards the right keeping the chin straight. Stay in the position for 10 sec and return to the center. Now, turn the head to the left similarly and hold for 10 sec. Repeat the exercise 5 times from each side.

Neck Retraction

Sit on a chair straight, with the shoulder stretched back. Pull the head back, avoiding the chin to drop down. Hold in the position for 10 seconds. You will feel the stretching feeling at the back of the neck. Come back to the normal position. Repeat the exercise 5 times.

Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder bears muscles which provide support to the neck, which is why the shoulder muscles should not be neglected.

Sit straight on a chair with the shoulders wide apart. Roll the shoulder in a circular motion backward 5times. Then reverse the motion by making the shoulder move in a circular motion forward.

Shoulder roll exercise help in keeping the shoulder and neck joints fluid.

Isometric Exercises

These are the most important exercises for cervical spondylosis, as they help to strengthen the supporting muscles and tissues. While performing these exercises it is important to sit in an erect posture with the chin tucked up. These exercises are beneficial in relieving and preventing cervical spondylosis and building up strength, increase flexibility, and improve the range of motion.

Isometric exercises are of three types,

Neck Extension

Take the hand back so that the palms are placed at the base of the head. Apply light pressure forward with the hand and resist the pressure with the head and neck. Make sure that there is no movement of the head while performing this exercise.

Repeat it 5 times.

Neck Flexion

Place the index and the middle finger in the front of the forehead in between the eyes. Apply pressure backward. Resist the pressure with the head and the neck, without moving them. Repeat it 5 times.

Side Bending

Sit erect with the head straight and chin up. Place right palm on the right side of head above the ear. Apply pressure with the hand and resist the pressure with the head. Hold on for 5 seconds and repeat the same 5 times. Switch side and repeat the same 5 times from the other side.

Stretching Exercises

These too are great exercises for cervical spondylosis and help in maintaining a good posture and preventing neck injuries.

There are two types of stretching exercises.

Neck Stretching (Right and Left Side)

Place the right hand on the top side of the head. Bring down the right ear toward the right shoulder. Apply a little pressure with the right hand ensuring the left shoulder is kept down. A stretch is felt on the left side of the neck. Hold for 10- 15 sec, before coming back to the normal position. Switch side and repeat. Do it 5 times.

Sternocleidomastoid Stretch

Sternocleidomastoid is a muscle present on either side of the neck. It becomes tight with the forward head position. Tilt the head backward by looking at the shoulder. Hold on for 10 seconds. Repeat it from the other side. Repeat the same 5 times.

Regular exercises improve the lubrication in between the disk in the spine, which combats degeneration. It also makes the body strong as the age advances. These exercises for cervical spondylosis can help in managing the symptoms and also keep the neck muscles strong and protect them from further damage.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 7, 2019

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