5 Exercises For The Cervical Spine
As usual, all of your magic hands hocus pocus means nothing if the patient cannot keep the improvements between visits. Here are 5 ways to self-treat the cervical spine.
1) The Good Ole Chin Tuck
- for central or bilateral complaints
- headaches into the frontal cranium
- bilateral neck pain radiating into upper traps
- end range is sternal elevation
- last year a little old lady asked me if this exercise would make her double chin worse
- I said, “I don’t know, but at least it helps your headaches and neck pain.”
- I saw her just this past summer for a completely different condition, the first thing she showed me was the lack of a double chin, she was so happy the chin tucks tightened everything up!
2) The Good Ole Chin Tuck Part 2
- For those who do not tolerate cervical retraction, possibly due to tighter upper cervical spine
- this works a bit better for headaches than retractions
- a variation for unilateral headaches is the same light nod with neutral cervical spine with a slight 5-10 deg rotation to the ipsilateral side of involvement
3) Cervical Retraction With Rotation
- If the above unilateral nod variation does not work with upper cervical pain or unilateral HA, try this
- make sure to rotate but keep the contralateral shoulder from moving anteriorly too early
- this works very well to restore lost rotation or keep it after your manual techniques
4) Cervical Retraction With Side Bending Overpressure
- it’s the too simple to work for many upper quarter problems self-treatment!
- as always, end range is key here, remember to slack the contralateral upper trap if needed by passively elevating the scapula
- try for any hand, forearm, elbow, shoulder, scapula, thoracic pain that is unilateral and not responding to traditional treatments
- better yet, try this first for any of the above to rule out cervical involvement
5) Cervical Retraction With Extension
- a progression for improvement or plateau for central or bilateral complaints
- I do not give this one out too often in lieu of self-generated overpressure into cervical retraction
- this may also work for symptoms that are radiating to mid thoracic spine or scapula
- make sure they get to end range, which is normally the forehead parallel to the ceiling
- also check out this clinical pearl on this very technique
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Good post! Great job on the images :D
There are some interesting points and some exercises tips in this article about cervical spine pain. Good article, thanks
So very helpful. Thank you for the helpful demo pictures. Exercises are so well explained that one can certainly follow and get benefited. Thank you for the post.
Great, glad it helped Stella!
Cervical spine exercises are so well explained. What caught me was the double chin got back to normal shape. Thank you for the very helpful post.