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Neck Exercises

The best way to prevent injury is by having strong, flexible muscles and joints that resist strain and injury. The back and neck like movement. Putting the back in a static position for long periods of time, such as sitting at a computer screen for hours, increases the risk of back or neck strain. The best preventive medicine for neck and back strain is movement. Take frequent breaks away from the computer screen to stretch.

Here are some easy stretching exercises for simple neck pain that can relieve simple cases of neck ache. Some can even be used on the job to relieve neck strain.

Neck Exercise Menu

 

Neck Glide

Neck Glide

Start with neck straight. Slowly slide your chin forward. Hold for 5 seconds and return to starting position. Do 10 times.

 

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Neck Extension

Neck Extension

Without arching your back, slowly move your head backward so you are looking upward. Hold for five seconds. Return to starting position. This is a good exercise to do during work to prevent neck strain.

 

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Neck Rotation

Neck Turn

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly turn your head to the left. Hold for ten seconds, then return to starting position. Then, slowly turn you head to the other side. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.

 

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Lateral Extension

Neck lateral

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly lean your head to the left. Using your left hand for resistance, use the muscles in your neck to press against it. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting position. Then, slowly lean your head to the other side. Hold for 5 seconds. Return to starting position. Do ten repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.

 

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Shoulder Shrugs

Neck Shrugs

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly raise both shoulders up. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as in working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.

 

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Tilted Forward Flexion

Neck Tilt

Start by looking straight ahead. Slowly lower your chin toward your chest. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting position. Do 10 repetitions. This is a good exercise to do during work, especially if you have to keep your head in a steady position for extended periods, as when working at a computer. Do this exercise every half hour to prevent neck strain.

 

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Deep Stretching

Neck Positioning

Sitting with good posture, let your head fall towards your shoulder. You can apply pressure with your hand as shown. You may also hold onto your chair with the opposite hand. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.

 

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Resistance Presses

Neck Press

Neck resist

Keep your head in a neutral position at all times. Apply pressure to your head in the following positions for 5 seconds then relax. Flexion- place hand at forehead. Extension- place hand at back of head.

 

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Towel Pull

Neck Towel

Place rolled towel around your neck, and hold ends with hands. Slowly look up as far as you can, rolling your head over the towel. Apply gentle pressure on towel to support cervical spine as you extend head back. Do not hold the position. Instead, return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

 

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NOTE: We recognize that people will diagnose and treat themselves. We have provided this medical information to make you more knowledgeable about nonsurgical aspects of care, the role of exercise in your long-term recovery, and injury prevention. In some cases exercise may be inappropriate. Remember, if you diagnose or treat yourself, you assume the responsibility for your actions. You should never do any exercise that causes increased pain. You should never do any exercise that places body weight on a weakened or injured limb or back.


TriCities Spine in Bristol, TN is a by-product of discussions with case managers, rehab nurses and managed care experts on a local and national level who believe that spine care can be improved through a multidisciplinary team approach. TriCities Spine includes a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spine, Dr. Jim Brasfield, teamed with a pain management specialist and spine-specialized physical therapy. TriCities Spine physicians already see a variety of complex cases from across Eastern Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. TriCities Spine emphasizes a nonsurgical approach to back pain, recognizing that in most cases spine surgery should be the last card to be played after nonsurgical options have been tried. About half of patients are referred to TriCities Spine by other doctors in the region. TriCities Spine also cares for those who injure themselves at the workplace. The strength of TriCities Spine lies in the medical expertise brought in by a variety of specialists who complement each other, including experts in physical medicine and neurosurgery. An internal pain specialist is often able to relieve some back and neck pain symptoms with special injections that enable a patient to bridge to therapy. Dr. Fred Terry specializes in pain relieving lumbar spinal injections and as well as myelograms, which may reveal the amount of damage in the spine. Therapists who specialize in spine use customized hands-on treatments to relieve pain symptoms, along with special exercises to help make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. If nonsurgical treatments are not successful, Dr. Jim Brasfield is trained and proficient in the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of the minimally invasive techniques used by Dr. Brasfield, many patients are able to have their spine surgery and then return home the same day to recover in the comfort of their own home.