Cervical spondylosis is a disorder of the spinal region caused due to wear and tear of the cervical spine, which is present on the back of our neck. Cervical spondylosis causes extreme pain on the neck and shoulders due the poor condition of intervertebral dics. It is common among individuals older than 50, but these days it has started affecting younger generation due to ‘IT culture’ that has brought so many causes of ill-health.
Soreness and stiffness in the neck, severe pain in the neck, inability to move the neck, pain in forearms and giddiness are typical symptoms of cervical spondylosis. Though aging process is one of the major causes of cervical spondylosis, other causes like prolonged sitting hours, wrong and incorrect postures are also to be blamed for this condition. If you belong to younger generation, you can prevent cervical spondylosis by adopting a moderate exercise plan throughout your adulthood. If you work for long hours in front of the computer, take frequent breaks to avoid strain on your neck.
Exercises for Cervical Spondylosis
Rest, exercise and medication are three different ways that can provide relief from cervical spondylosis. However, in worst cases of neck pain, doctors recommend surgery. Exercise is the best way to treat cervical spondylosis at the moderate level. Here are some effective exercises for cervical spondylosis that will lubricate the disks of your spine and lower the chances of degeneration of the disks.
Avoid high intensity exercises like running as they can worsen the condition. Along with practicing routine neck stretches and exercise specific for cervical spondylosis that provides flexibility and motion in the cervical spine and neck, support your body with low impact exercises like walking, swimming and aerobics to strengthen your muscles.
Practicing the following simple exercises regularly will make your neck muscle strong and flexible, and provide relief from stiffness of the neck.
Stand straight. Stretch your hands in front, keeping them straight. Now slowly raise the hands and bring them near your ears. As you have neck pain, you may feel pain while bringing them near the ears.
Don’t raise them forcefully. Raise them slowly to the level you can without putting too much pressure on the neck. With regular practice, flexibility will increase and you will be able to do it easily and find improvement.
Neck Exercise – Front to Back
Sit straight. Tilt your head backward slowly as far as you can to look up towards ceiling. Hold the posture for few seconds and then bring back your head to the front position slowly. Do this exercise 5-10 times at a stretch and 3-4 times a day.
Neck Exercise – Side to Side
Sit with your head straight and slowly tilt your head towards your right side so far that your ear almost touches the shoulder. Hold the posture for few seconds and slowly return your head to the front position. Now tilt your head towards left side of your shoulder. Do this 5 to 10 times at a stretch and at least 3 times a day.
Side Resistance Exercise
Hold the left side of your head with your left hand. Tilt your head towards the left side to touch the shoulder with your ear. Try to resist the movement with your hand. Hold for a moment. Relax a while and repeat the same movement on the right side. Practice 5-10 times at a stretch and 3-4 times a day.
Forward and Backward Resistance Exercise
Place your hand on your forehead. Now try to move your head forward while resisting the movement with your hand. Hold for few seconds. You will feel the pressure on your neck muscle.
Relax and repeat 2-3 times. Now hold your head from the back by placing both the hands on the back of the head. Try to move your head backward while resisting the movement with your hands. Hold for few seconds and relax. Repeat 3-4 times.
Yoga Exercises to Cure Cervical Spondylosis
Certain yoga postures are very helpful in strengthening the neck muscles. One such posture is Bridge posture(Setu Bandhasana). For performing this yoga exercise, lie down on your back. Bend your knees and touch the floor with your feet. Press your feet towards the floor to lift your hips up. Now bring your hands over the head while keeping the arms straight.
Another effective posture is cobra posture (Bhujangasana). Lie down on your stomach. Keep your hands near the chest. Press your hand on the floor and lift your upper body up while pressing your feet on the floor. Bear your body’s weight with your arms. Move your chest upwards while breathing out. Perform this asana in a relaxed manner instead of using force.
These specific strengthening exercises will strengthen your neck muscles, improve your posture and in turn eliminate the pain that flares up in the spinal region.