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What exercises should a person with cervical spondylosis do?

Answered by: Hansa Kanuga
Consultant Physiotherapist

Mumbai

Q. What is the best sleeping position for persons with chronic cervical spondylosis? Can you tell us some simple exercises?

A.  Cervical spondylosis results in neck and back pain, which can be relived to some extent by some simple exercises. [photo gallery]

Sleeping: Use firm mattress and keep your head at level. Use pillows which do not bend the back more than 15 degrees. Do not sleep on your stomach. It extends the neck. Sleep on your back or on your side.

Exercises:

Range of motion exercises

1. Slowly turn your head to the right until it hurts, hold, and return it to the centre. Do the same to the left. 2. Drop your chin down slowly towards your chest, hold, and relax. Bring your head back up. 3. Tilt your head straight over towards your left ear, hold, and return it to the centre. Do the same on the right side. 4. Tilt your head backwards so you can see the ceiling, hold, then bring your head back down.

Isometric exercises

Don't hold your breath as you do these. For each exercise, press for 5-6 counts, then relax. 1. Press your forehead into your palms. Resist any motion. 2. Press your hand against the side of your head. Try to bring your ear to the shoulder, but resist any motion. 3. Press both hands against the back of your head. Try to pull your head up, but resist any motion. 4. Press your hand against your temple. Try to turn your chin to your shoulder, but resist any motion. You can do all these exercises 5 times each twice a day.

A.  Cervical spondylosis results in neck and back pain, which can be relived to some extent by some simple exercises. [photo gallery]

Sleeping: Use firm mattress and keep your head at level. Use pillows which do not bend the back more than 15 degrees. Do not sleep on your stomach. It extends the neck. Sleep on your back or on your side.

Exercises:

Range of motion exercises

1. Slowly turn your head to the right until it hurts, hold, and return it to the centre. Do the same to the left. 2. Drop your chin down slowly towards your chest, hold, and relax. Bring your head back up. 3. Tilt your head straight over towards your left ear, hold, and return it to the centre. Do the same on the right side. 4. Tilt your head backwards so you can see the ceiling, hold, then bring your head back down.

Isometric exercises

Don't hold your breath as you do these. For each exercise, press for 5-6 counts, then relax. 1. Press your forehead into your palms. Resist any motion. 2. Press your hand against the side of your head. Try to bring your ear to the shoulder, but resist any motion. 3. Press both hands against the back of your head. Try to pull your head up, but resist any motion. 4. Press your hand against your temple. Try to turn your chin to your shoulder, but resist any motion. You can do all these exercises 5 times each twice a day.

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