Physiotherapy Exercises for Cervical Spondylosis with Images

Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the neck or the cervical vertebrae. It is a common cause of chronic neck pain.

In cervical spondylosis, degenerative changes start in the intervertebral disc with oeteophyte or bone spur formation and the involvement of adjacent soft tissue structures. This leads to pain and discomfort and limits the movement of the neck.

Some typical causes include injury, poor posture, occupational strains (lifting heavy weights, bending, twisting), lifestyle (overweight and no exercise/activity), past neck injury (often several years before), arthritis, ruptured or slipped disk and osteoporosis.

Medications and surgery along with physiotherapy and yoga under supervision are some treatment options for cervical spondylosis.

Physiotherapy plays an important role in treating neck disorders. It could sometimes, eliminate the need for surgery. The multi-standard approach towards treating neck pain is the advantage in choosing physiotherapy based on the status of the disorder (Acute, Sub-acute or Chronic).

  • Electrotherapy/physical modalities/Mechanical supports.
  • Exercise therapy.
  • Postural education (detailed here are electrotherapy and exercise therapy).

Electrotherapy for Cervical Spondylosis:

  • The patient is required to undergo a short wave diathermy (SWD) routine, if the pain level is moderate and above. A substitute for SWD is hot pack if the pain levels are minimal to moderate.
  • If diagnosed with a nerve compression, cervical traction (where the mechanical traction is applied at the neck bones) will help.
  • Supports like collars can be given to increase the postural awareness, but keeping in mind the fact that weaning is a littler challenging in most of the cases.

Exercise Therapy for Cervical Spondylosis:

  • Chin tucks
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Stretches
  • Isometric exercises

Chin Tucks:

Chin Tucks Exercise

Tucks your chin. Repeat it 5-8 times to get relief from the pain.

Available Range of Motion Exercises: Following are the basic, available movements of the neck. They should be done slowly, as much as possible, and for 5 repetitions and 3 sets.

Motion Exercises

  • For relaxation, hunch your shoulders up high.
  • Put your chin down to your chest.
  • Bend your head back as far as you can, so that you are able to see the ceiling directly above your head.
  • Turn your head to the right trying to bring your chin over your right shoulder.
  • Turn your head to the left trying to bring your chin over your left shoulder.
  • Try to bring your left ear down to your left shoulder.
  • Try to bring your right ear down to your right shoulder.
  • Roll your head counter clockwise in as wide a circle as you can.

Stretches: Hold each stretch for 10 counts, and repeat 5 times. Remember, you should feel relaxed. If it’s not comfortable, please discontinue.

Upper back stretch: Stand straight with your hands clasped forward. Pull both towards the outside and make a minimal hunch. You should feel the stretch of your whole upper back. Hold for 10 counts, repeat 5 times.

Upper Back Stretch

Upper trapeziums stretch: tilt your head to the side, place the opposite hand behind the back, and use the hand of the same side to give the added stretch.

Upper Trapezius Stretch

Levator Scapula stretch: tilt head down and to the side, place the opposite hand behind the back, use the hand of the same side to give the added stretch.

Levator Scapula Stretch

Pectorals stretch: Use the corner or door frame. Place your hands up about the height of your head and lean forward. Keep your elbows down.

Pectoralis Stretch Exercise

Posterior Capsule stretch of the shoulder: Reach across your chest and use the opposite hand to pull across at the elbow.

Posterior Capsule Stretch

Isometric Exercises for Cervical Spondylosis:

  • Place both hands against your forehead. Push your head forward against the heels of your palms without moving your head. Hold for 5 counts.
  • Place both your hands behind the head. Pull your head back against your hands while pulling forward with your hands while pulling forward with your hands so that your head doesn’t move. Hold for 5 counts.
  • Place your right hand against the right side of your head. Push your head hard against the heel of your palm without allowing it to move. Hold for 5 counts.
  • Place your left hand against the left side of your head. Push your head against the heel of your palm without allowing it to move. Hold for 5 counts.
  • Place your right hand against your right temple. Try to bring your chin down to your right shoulder without allowing your head to move. Hold for 5 counts.
  • Place your left hand against your left temple. Try to bring your chin down to your left shoulder without allowing your head to move. Hold for 5 counts.

Also Read: Physiotherapy Exercise for Shoulder Injuries

Isometric Exercises

Note:
The regime given here is generalized. Please contact your physiotherapist for a personalized exercise regime based on the assessment of your case.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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