Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative disorder of the discs of the cervical spine. It simply means that the discs placed between the vetebrae in the cervical region undergoes wear and tear and develops few signs and symptoms like pain in the cervical region (back of neck), pain often radiates to head, stiffness in the same area.
If there is compression of nerve, then there will be pain extending along the hand or numbness of hand etc. Cervical spondylosis can be managed along with several other measures, with correct posture and exercises. Here is a list of certain exercises that will help to cope up with the pain and stiffness and a note on the correct posture at the end.
Cervical Spondylosis Exercises
Flexion, Extensionof The Neck
Though the words sound tough, this is a relatively easy exercise to be carried out and offers beneficial results as well. Flexion of the neck simply means moving your head downwards towards the chest. Extension of the neck would be movement of the neck in the opposite direction. The neck would be facing upwards here.
Rotation Of The Neck
The rotation of the neck or rather the lateral rotation of the neck, is moving the neck to the either side. Then there is lateral flexion of the neck, in which you would try to touch the neck to the shoulder.
An important thing to remember here is let the patient himself/ herself, do this on their own. The others need not force the movements of the neck.
There are certain stretching exercises that are found to be good for cervical spondylosis. These exercises are more than the movements of the head. There is the overhead stretch in which you pass your left arm over your head so that the left hand touches your right ear. Now facing the head towards the shoulder gently push your forehead towards the ground. You will feel a stretch in your neck. Stay in this position for 15 seconds. Repeat this with the other side.
Then there is neck flexion stretch in which the hand is placed over the head just like the other. Now gently push the forehead this time towards the chest. This downward push will insert a stretch on the back of your neck. After a few seconds release the posture. Again this should be carried out gently. Do not cause unnecessary pressure on the neck as this could strain the muscles and further aggravate the pain.
Shoulder shrugs is useful to strengthen the shoulders. Researches have claimed this helps to cope with the neck pain. As the name suggests, this is shrugging of the shoulders, helping to strengthen the shoulder muscles.
This could be done sitting or standing. Take care to keep the arms down and do not use them during the exercise. The shrugging should be done slowly using only the muscles of your neck and shoulders.
Other Activities And Posture
You could carry on with your usual exercises like walking but avoid running. Then assuming the right posture while sitting and sleeping is essential. It is better to avoid using a pillow or use only a narrow one.