Cervical Exercises

Living with neck pain can be debilitating. Whether you are working through your recovery postoperatively, or strengthening your spine in general, these tips can assist you in safely stretching, moving and strengthening your cervical spine. Learning to move and breathe comfortably postoperatively is an important step in your recovery journey. We understand that simple actions and activities can be difficult after surgery, which is why we provide these tips for learning to live comfortably as your body heals.

This series includes tips on breathing from the diaphragm; bracing from your abdomen; cervical mobility flex/extension and rotation; and shoulder relaxing. Remember, if you experience pain in any of these positions or while performing these activities, stop immediately and contact our physical therapist consultant at 1-866-362-7574, ext. 253.


Level 1

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Believe it or not, breathing is critical to your recovery. Yes, we all know that breathing keeps us alive, but did you know that poor breathing techniques can actually inhibit your body from making a speedy and healthy recovery? Learning to incorporate diaphragmatic breathing into your daily routine can not...

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Abdominal Bracing

The abdominal bracing exercise is an important part of recovery from your surgery at Laser Spine Institute. It helps strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles: the core muscles. You can incorporate this technique into your functional activities at any time, and it will help you become aware of how using your abdominals can support your spine.

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Cervical Mobility Flex/Ext

The cervical mobility flexion and extension exercise stretches and strengthens your neck. To do this exercise, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your head supported comfortably on a pillow. Remember, you are always breathing as you move. This is a gentle movement, where you will...

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Cervical Mobility Rotation

The cervical mobility rotation exercise stretches and strengthens your neck. To do this exercise, begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your head supported comfortably on a pillow. Start with your neck in the midline or neutral position. Remember, you are breathing, so there should be an...

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Shoulder Circles/Shrugs

The shoulder circles and shrugs exercise stretches and strengthens your shoulders and upper back muscles. To do this exercise, start by sitting comfortably in a chair. Begin by bringing your shoulders up toward your ears and then dropping them back down. Then bring your shoulders forward and backward, squeezing the shoulder blade muscles together.

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Level 2

Cervical Range of Motion

There are three steps to the cervical range of motion exercise. Each step requires that you start by sitting comfortably in a chair. Listen to your body and avoid excessive pain or strain. For the first step, begin by looking over your right shoulder. Gently turn your head through your range of motion.

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Cervical Isometrics

Through resistance, these cervical isometrics exercises use muscle contraction to strengthen and tone your neck muscles. The resistance is your own body. There are four steps in cervical isometrics. Each step requires that you start by sitting comfortably in a chair. For the first step, using light pressure with your fingertips...

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