Best, home-based neck Exercises to Battle Cervical Spondylosis

Commonly called as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis, cervical spondylosis is the most common age related condition affecting 80%of population over the age of 60 years. It occurs due to work related wear and tear involving repetitive movements that put the spine at risk and affects the joints and disc in the cervical spine. It develops from repeated wear and tear of cartilage and bones which leads to narrowing of the disc spaces between the vertebrae in the neck with prolonged bad posture being an added reason.

 

Causes of cervical spondylosis

Age

Overuse of neck

Herniated disc

Bone spurs

Injury

Ligament stiffness

Dehydrated disc

 

Risk factors for cervical spondylosis include

Sustained bad occupational posture

Genetics

Smoking

Obesity and inactivity

 

Common Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms, which you too might have experienced at some point are

 

Severe chronic pain

Stiffness in the neck muscles

Tingling or numbnessin the neck or spreading down to one or both arms

Frequent headaches

Weakness in and around shoulder and neck

 

Cervical neck exercises

Isometric exercises where the muscles must work against a fixed resistant point help in strengthening the neck and reducing pain of cervical spondylosis. Strong isometric exercises work best to develop strength and endurance in the muscle. 4 groups of muscles need to be worked for this.

 

Flexors

Keeping the hand pressed on the forehead, move the head in a forward bending position, looking downwards. Hold this positionfor 10 counts and release. Repeat this 10 times.

 

Extensors

Keeping the hands pressed on the back of the head,move the head in a backward bending position, looking upwards. Hold this stancefor 10 counts and release. Repeat this 10 times.

 

Lateral flexors

Keeping the hand pressed on the side of the head, move the head in a sideward bending position. Hold thisfor 10 counts and release. Repeat this for 10 times for each side.

 

Rotators

Keeping the hand pressed on the side of the head just above the ears, turn the head towards the side. Hold this position for 10counts and release. Repeat this for 10 times for each side.

 

Chin tucks

Keeping the chin straight,tuck the chin inwards without bending the neck.Hold for 10 counts and release. Repeat for 10 counts.

 

Neck rolls

Tilt the head towards right side and roll the head towards left and back to right. Repeat on both the sides for 5 counts each.

 

Shoulder rolls

Sit on a chair keeping the spine straight, and slowly rotate the shoulders in a circular manner forward for 10 counts and backward for 10 counts.

 

Self-stretching neck exercise

Place the right hand on the right shoulder giving a downward push. Keepthe left hand pressed against the right armadding a push towards the left. Hold for 30 seconds and release.

 

Ideal sleeping position

Using a correct pillow of the right height cannot be stressed enough. Keeping the head not too high or too low in relation to the shoulder is extremely important in preventing neck pain in the long run.

 

Postural and ergonomic advice

The ideal posture is of a straight neck with the chin tucked in.It’s very important to maintain a correct posture at work since you subconsciously maintain the posture for many hours at a stretch.If working on a computer, make sure the computer is placed at eye level, where you can read without giving any strain to the neck.The screen should be at a comfortable distance, not too far or too close, about a foot away.

The chair should be comfortable enough for the foot to be placed flat on the floor and the knees at a right angle to the foot.

It’s also very important to take short breaks and stretch to release stiffness.

If long working hours arethe reason causing forstrain to the back or neck, you can look to replace the normal office chair to an ergonomically correct chair.

 

Always keep in mind; any imbalance inthe back can cause an increased strain in the neck and vice versa. So be mindful of how you sit while at work, and stay fit!