The cervical spine or neck is critical for the health and well-being of everyone. Ideally the neck from the front to back be straight and from the lateral view is like a “C”curve. Over the years I have seen one of the most common problems is the loss of that curve that can lead to nerve root compression and a plethora of associated symptoms from headaches to carpal tunnel.
It is essential to have your spine adjusted and maintain its normal mechanics and there are a few simple exercises to help the function of the neck to its optimum.
Modern life with computers, games, texting etc. tends to cause the neck to bend forward against the curve. To counteract the degenerative and destructive process implement the following.
- First you can roll up a towel, use a bottle, or a piece of pool noodle to create a support for you neck. Laying on your back use the support at your mid neck. Try to lay on this for at least 20 minutes a day.
- The neck moves in 6 cardinal directions. In other words our necks flex forward, extend backwards, rotate to the right and left as well as laterally bend to the left and right. These are the movements that we need to address by way of stretching and strengthening.
- First for the stretching. Push you chin onto your chest and hold for a 6 count. Repeat in extension. With your hand on your chin push your head to the left as far as you can and hold for a 6 count. Repeat to the right. Place your right hand on the top of your head and pull to the right. Yes hold for a 6 count and repeat on the opposite side.
- To strengthen I find it best to utilize what is called isometric exercises. You are pushing against resistance of your hand in all six directions. To clarify place you hand on your forehead and push for a 6 count. Place your hand behind your head and push back for a 6 count. Place your hand above your ear and push…. Repeat on the opposite side. Place your hand on the side of your cheek and turn to the right /left etc. With the isometric strengthening your head should remain in the neutral position and utilize a 6 count.
- The stretch and strengthen should be done at least twice a day for optimum results. I personally do these whenever I am stopped at red light.
If you have any questions about these exercises do not hesitate to ask for clarification. Oakville Chiropractic Centre – 627 Lyons Lane #102, 905-845-2291, firstname.lastname@example.org