Cervical spondylosis is a general term for the wear and tear of the spinal discs in the neck as we age. As the discs degenerate, signs of osteoarthritis develop. This can cause achiness and soreness as well as decreased motion in the neck. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:
First start off with some gentle neck stretches by turning your head from side to side like you are looking over your shoulder. This is neck rotation. Hold it for about 10-15 seconds, and go back and forth about 5 times. Next you are going to take your ear to your shoulder on each side. Make sure you are not shrugging your shoulders up. This is side bending. Hold it for about 10-15 seconds, and go back and forth about 5 times. Now bring your chin to your chest and then looking up towards the ceiling. This is neck flexion and extension. Hold it for about 10-15 seconds, and go back and forth about 5 times.
Then you are going to do isometric exercises in each direction. Basically this is when you activate the muscle, but you are not moving it. You can do this by gently pressing into your hand in each direction. Hold each one of these for 3-5 seconds.
Now place your hand under your thigh to keep your shoulder down, then side bend your head to the opposite side and gently put pressure with your other hand to get a stretch through your trapezius muscles. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.
The final stretch is going to be for your levator scapulae muscle. This is the muscle that is used when you shrug your shoulders, and they can get overworked when you are stressed out. Take your arm on the side of the pain and place it above and behind your shoulder. Then take your opposite arm and place on top and slightly behind your head. Look down towards the opposite knee of the pain and apply gentle pressure for a good stretch. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.
Neck Pain Stretches & Exercises:
Neck Spasm Stretches:
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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Cervical Spondylosis Stretches & Exercises:
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