There are hundreds of exercises we could have put in this section. Depending on what is causing your neck pain, some of these exercises might help and some might not. It is important to realize that if any of these exercises are increasing your pain, you should not do them. Also, prescribing exercise is much like prescribing medication. The type of exercise and amount of exercise is very important. Without a full examination by one of our physical therapists at Robbins Rehabilitation West, it’s difficult to prescribe exercises that will take away your pain. The exercises below were selected to help decrease neck pain, no matter what the cause is, but it is only a “best guess” and not an actual prescription based on an examination.
Chin tuck head lifts
Begin lying flat with nothing under your head. You may bend your knees to allow the natural curve in your low back. Begin by tucking your chin and then raising the head off the floor about 1 inch maintaining the tucked position. Hold this position as long as possible without letting the chin protrude or the head to drop back to the floor. If this is too difficult to begin with simply perform the chin tuck without raising the head off the floor until you get stronger.
Suggested program: Hold the position for 10 seconds and complete 10 repetitions on each side. Do this 1-2 times per day.
Place the edge of a towel or pillow case behind the neck. Reach across and pull the towel straight down to anchor it. With your opposite hand, reach over the top of your arm and pull the towel across your cheek to turn your head in the same direction. Repeat on the other side.
Suggested program: Repeat this 10 times on each side holding for 5 seconds and do this 1-2 times per day.
Lay on your stomach and begin with your arms extended in front of you forming a “Y”. From here squeeze your shoulder blades back and down and lift the arms off the floor with the thumbs toward the ceiling, hold for the allotted time then bring the arms straight out from your sides in a “T” maintaining the shoulder blades pulled back. After holding the “T” position continue to keep the arms off the floor and bring the arms into a “W” position with the wrists higher than the elbows and thumbs driving towards the ceiling. Now you may relax the shoulder blades and return the arms to resting in the “Y” position.
Suggested program: Hold each position for 5 seconds then return to the starting position. Complete 10 repetitions. You may start by resting between each rep, then to progress try to perform as many repetitions as possible while maintaining the arms off the floor. Do this exercise one time per day.