The cervical retraction exercise is a classic and works very well for cervical pain, cervicogenic headaches, and general upper quarter complaints. Yes, posture does not directly predict or relate to pain any more than knee flexion causes knee pain. However, common prolonged or repeated activities often cause predictable triggers that should be avoided and novel movements in the opposite direction often desensitize the area and reset the symptoms.
Here are 5 variations on the cervical retraction to make it as comfortable and effective as possible. Remember, it’s the dosage of the home program that really promotes recovery between patient visits, not what you treat the patient within the clinic.