2 Apr
2009

The neck is a common site of spinal pain, but it is an area which responds well to judicious exercise. The posture of the head (which weighs about 5.5 kg in an adult) is crucial. Try to make the back of the neck so long so that the head is positioned above the shoulders and not in front of them. Experiment by trying to balance a book on your head; this will give you the feeling of good neck posture. Avoid complete head circling movements and extreme extension, as these are unnecessarily stressful to the vertebral joints, and can make you feel dizzy if you are in an older age group. Dynamic movements are more effective in producing strength and bulk in neck muscles but should follow ‘static’ neck exercises in each direction.

The neck and shoulders are often the site for tension pains; try shrugging your shoulders up to your ears several times, this often helps.

Remember exercise in a warm environment.

1. Lie on back with head on 2 pillows and hips and knees bent; raise head smoothly and press

chin on to chest; feel the stretch in the back of the neck; lower gently and repeat 4 times.

2. Remove one pillow, still keep hips and knees bent, gently turn head to one side, feel the

stretch, hold and then turn to the other side. Repeat 4 times.

3. Sit on a chair; bend head forwards and gently turn it from side to side: be careful not to

arch your head backwards.

4. Stand with head in a good position; take arms in large vigorous circles backwards 10 times

and forwards 10 times.

*110\111\2*

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