How to exercise for your cervical spondylosis?

How to exercise for your cervical spondylosis?

Hey do you have neck pain? But not every neck pain is cervical spondylosis. What exactly is cervical spondylosis? Cervical spondylosis is a common degenerative condition affecting the cervical spine (neck). The prevalence of cervical spondylosis in the Indian population is estimated to be between 8 and 12%, according to the National Institute for Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW). It is one of the most common causes of neck pain in India, affecting both men and women. It is estimated that about 60% of people aged 60 or more suffer from cervical spondylosis. It is more common in males than in females.

Cervical spondylosis can lead to pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in the neck and shoulders. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications such as nerve damage and spinal cord compression.

How physiotherapist can help you deal with neck pain following cervical spondylosis

Physiotherapy is an important part of treating and managing cervical spondylosis. Physiotherapy can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and strengthen the neck muscles. It is important to understand that, while exercise may be beneficial, it should not be done without the advice of a medical professional. Depending on the severity of your condition, certain exercises may be contraindicated and could worsen your condition.

Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your physiotherapist will develop an exercise program tailored to your specific needs. Your physiotherapy program would include following -

1. Reducing pain - Physiotherapists will recommend you myofascial release, heat and cold therapy and pain reliving modalities such as TENS or ultrasound therapy to take care of your pain.

2. Improving your range of motion - Range of motion exercises are especially important for those with cervical spondylosis. These exercises can help to reduce stiffness in the neck. To do these exercises, you can use a foam roller to help loosen the muscles and joints.

• Neck Rotation: Start with your head in a neutral position. Slowly rotate your head to one side and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
• Neck Extension: Start with your head in a neutral position. Gently tilt your head back and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
• Neck Flexion: Start with your head in a neutral position. Gently tilt your head forward and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
• Neck Side Bend: Start with your head in a neutral position. Gently tilt your head to one side and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
• Roll your shoulders backwards in a circular motion.

3. Strengthening your neck muscles – you can start with neck isometric exercises. Later you can progress to resistance band exercises once your pain and tingling sensation permits.
• Neck isometric exercises –
1.Place a pillow on a flat surface.
2. Lie on your back on the pillow.
3. Slowly tilt your head back and look up at the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, then lower your head back to the starting position.
4. Tilt your head to the right and look over your right shoulder, then tilt your head to the left and look over your left shoulder. Hold each position for 10 to 15 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat these exercises as needed to help strengthen your neck muscles.

4. Stretching exercises – stretching is mandatory for tight muscles at back and sides of your neck as well as pectoral muscle at front of your chest.
• Chin tucks exercises – keep your head in neutral position and take your chin in.
Hold it for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat this 10 times twice a day.
• Pectoral Stretch Exercise:
1. Stand in an open doorway or corner with your arms out to the sides.
2. Place one hand on each side of the doorway or corner, and gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest.
3. Hold this position for 15–30 seconds.
4. Relax, and then repeat the stretch two to three times.
5. For an added stretch, turn your head to the opposite side of the arm that is stretched. Hold for 15–30 seconds, and then switch sides.

• Stretching of trapezius muscle –
1. Sitting Stretch: Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Reach your right arm across your chest and use your left arm to gently pull your right arm closer to your chest. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides.

• Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Sitting or standing, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Relax, and repeat 10 times.

• Wall Angel: Stand with your back against the wall. Put your arms up at shoulder height and make a “W” shape with your arms. Press your arms against the wall, feeling the stretch in your upper back and shoulders. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then relax.

5. Nerve mobilization – Nerve mobilization for cervical spondylosis involves gentle stretching and manipulation of the affected cervical nerve roots to increase their range of motion and reduce pain.

1. Start in a comfortable position on your back with your head and neck supported by a bolster or pillow.
2. Place your hand on the side of the affected nerve root and gently rotate your head in the opposite direction.
3. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds before slowly returning your head to its original position.
4. Repeat this motion a few times until you feel a gentle stretching sensation in the affected nerve root.
5. If the stretch is too intense, reduce the range of motion or decrease the duration of the stretch.
6. Once you feel a gentle stretch, hold the position for 30 seconds before releasing.

Exercises are main stay towards management of cervical spondylosis. Proper guidance regarding exercises will definitely help you to come over this condition. At HealthQ rehab, we have Dr. Praniti Bhilpawar who is taking care of musculoskeletal related disorders online as well as offline. Feel free to contact us and get solution for your pain.

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