Exercises To Prevent Neck Pain
The most common causes of neck pain are as follows:
- Injury and pain induced by abnormal posture.
- Degenerative disc disease.
- Bulge or herniated disc.
Optimum pain relief is achieved once you could perform full range of neck motions.
During initial phase restrict your range of motion depending on pain intensity. Slowly improve your range of motion and frequency of exercise.
Goal is to perform exercise 3 to 4 times a day.
Exercises to improve range of motion of Neck are as follows:
Neck Flexion: Neck flexion is anexercise to achieve maximum flexion of neck. Goal is to flex the head as much forward as possible from neutral position so that the chin should rest on chest wall and you should be able to see your feet.
Neck flexion stretches the muscle at the back of the cervical spine, thus prevents neck tightness cause by muscle spasm during normal routine activities. Exercise prevents muscle spasm and atrophy.
Neck Extension: The head is carefully moved backward until the face looks directly at the ceiling. Neck Extension movement should not be performed fast or forcefully. Rapid backward movements can displace facet joint and may cause severe pain.
Rotation: Exercise is performed either in sitting or standing position.Head is rotated from neutral position to left or right side. Do not rotate head from side to side. Rotation exercise is repeated 5 times on each side. Increase frequency as pain is tolerated. Goal is to achieve optimum rotation.
Side Flexion: Head is maintained in neutral position at the beginning of exercise. Head is slowly tilted towards the shoulder on same side. Avoid moving from side to side. Side flexion can be painful in the beginning and movement can be limited depending on pain.You may feel more pain if you try to be aggressive.
Neck Retraction (Chicken Tuck): Exercise is indicated in patients suffering with neck pain cause by forward body slump during prolong sitting or standing position. Forward body lean of causes flexion of thoracic vertebrae and voluntary backward neck tilt to bring eyes at horizontal level to see objects lying in front. Neck retraction exercise also known as Chicken Tuck exercise helps to relive pain.
Exercise is performed in sitting or standing position. Keep your lower body and face straight. Slowly move head and face forward and backward with hand or fingers on chin to prevent any flexion of neck. Repeat exercise 8 to 10 times or more depending on pain intensity and tolerance. Repeat similar exercise 4 to 6 times a day.
Exercise helps to relieve headache and pain cause by facet joints.
Neck retraction exercise can be performed while lying flat on back. You can place pillow under your neck if pain is intolerable if head is on flat surface. Do the exercise as described in previous slide.
Shoulder girdle exercises may be very helpful to loosen neck muscles.
Shoulder bracing or shoulder retraction: Shoulder blade is pulled backward and forward as shown in slide. Do it 10 to 20 times and repeat 3 to 4 times a day. Make it a slow and wide movement.
Shoulder shrugs exercise: Shoulders is raised above and below the shoulder joint. Repeat the exercise 10 to 20 times. Increase frequency to 4 times day.