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5 Exercises For The Cervical Spine

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.

Start

 

Don’t think double chin, think triple chin!

 

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!

Start

 

Cervical neutral, “yes sir!”

 

Unilateral nod variation for right-sided HA or upper cervical pain

 

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

starting position, the retracting dead

 

rotation with self-overpressure to end range, rotate toward the pain

 

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

 

stock starting photo… “brains….”

 

end range overpressure to the painful/limited side, welcome to the gun show

 

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

start, triple chin!

 

finish, forehead parallel to the ceiling

 

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

 

 

Dr. Erson Religioso III, DPT, MS, MTC, CertMDT, CFC, CSCS, FMS, FMT, FAAOMPT, graduated from D’Youville College in 1998 with a dual Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy. His interests in Orthopaedics and Manual Therapy lead him to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine. Studying under Stanley Paris, Ph.D, PT, internationally known for his manual skills and knowledge of the spine as well as his distinguished faculty, Dr. Religioso earned his DPT and Manual Therapy Certification in 2000. He later became credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment of the Spine in 2000. Erson also operates several websites dedicated to Manual Therapy, www.themanualtherapist.com, www.modernmanualtherapy.com as well as www.edgemobilitysystem.com

 

Erson Religioso

Erson Religioso

Dr. Erson Religioso III, DPT, MS, MTC, CertMDT, CFC, CSCS, FMS, FMT, FAAOMPT, graduated from D’Youville College in 1998 with a dual Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy. His interests in Orthopaedics and Manual Therapy lead him to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine. Studying under Stanley Paris, Ph.D, PT, internationally known for his manual skills and knowledge of the spine as well as his distinguished faculty, Dr. Religioso earned his DPT and Manual Therapy Certification in 2000. He later became credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment of the Spine in 2000. Erson also operates several websites dedicated to Manual Therapy, www.themanualtherapist.com, www.modernmanualtherapy.com as well as www.edgemobilitysystem.com
Erson Religioso

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1 Comment

  1. Visiting Massage October 9, 2017

    Good post! Great job on the images 😀

    reply

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