Neck Exercises by Dr Kiran Kumar Lingutla

Dr. Kiran Kumar Lingutla

Neck Exercises
The McKenzie exercises for neck are a set of exercises that not only treat neck pain, but also cater to a number of spinal problems.
Due to continuous force or pressure to the neck, especially the one that is directed only from one direction, pain in the neck often becomes chronic. The McKenzie method offers certain exercises that can heal and treat the chronic neck pain to a great extent.
1. Sitting Chin Tuck McKenzie Exercise for Neck:
● This exercise helps in strengthening the upper neck muscles by stretching them. For that you need to sit straight with the gaze focussed in the front.
● Now, without tilting the neck or head, push your chin downwards, as if you have a double chin.
● You will feel the stretch in the neck. Hold the position for a count of 10 and then release.
● You need to repeat this exercise 10 times, thrice a day.

2.Sitting Neck Extension McKenzie Exercise for Neck:
● As you have done the sitting chin tuck, you should proceed on to doing this exercise. The sitting neck extension should never be done without completing the sitting chin tuck before hand. For this you need to start from the sitting chin tuck position. Then
● Tilt the head backwards as far as possible. Make sure that you do not tilt your head forward after completing the sitting chin tuck.
● The face would be looking upwards, as if looking at the sky.
● Now in this backward tilted position, slightly turn your head right and left half inches.
● Repeatedly turn the head right and left, while trying to tilt it farther backwards.
● Return to the chin tuck position and repeat this exercise 10 times a day.

3. McKenzie Side Bending Exercise for Neck :
● This exercise too will start from the chin tuck position. You need to –Keep the gaze straight forward and then bend the head sideways, so that the ear touches your shoulder.
● Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
● This exercise should be done for 10 times on each side and should be repeated thrice a day.

4.Neck Rotation McKenzie Exercise :
● Start with your chin tucked and then
● Turn the head towards your left at first, without changing your gaze. Always have your gaze fixed in front of you.
● Feel the stretch and hold the position for a few seconds.
● Repeat on the other side.
● Neck rotation too should be done thrice a day, for 10 times on each side.

5.Neck Flexion McKenzie Exercise :
● Have your chin tucked in and then
● Drop your head towards your chest.
● Raise your hands and interlock your finger at the back of your head in such a way that the elbows point downwards.
● The weight of the hands will put pressure on the head and help you feel the stretch at the back of your neck.
● The farther you push your head towards the chin, the greater stretch will be felt. This too should be repeated for 10 times, thrice a day.

6.Shoulder Shrugs McKenzie Exercises for Neck :
● For this McKenzie exercise, start from the chin-tuck position and then
● Then, slowly inhale and lift the shoulders close to the ears, as much as you can.
● Hold your breath for 10 seconds and exhale slowly.
● Return to the starting position and inhale again.
● Repeat 10 times for 3 times a day.

What is an Isometric neck exercise?
Isometric exercise is a form of exercise where you execute an isometric muscle contraction. In an isometric muscle contraction, the muscle exerts force without changing its length. Unlike traditional exercises like weight lifting which involves lengthening of the muscles, isometric exercises have little or no joint movement. In an isometric neck exercise, the neck is held in a non-moving or stable position to isolate the targeted muscle. The muscle is then allowed to grow stronger through
resistance without movement or pain. If you gradually increase the resistance, the muscle grows in strength and endurance.

What are the benefits of Isometric neck exercises?
A huge benefit of isometric neck exercises is that you can do them practically anywhere, anytime. It does not involve any machines or equipment, and even people who are immobilized can do them. Even a few minutes of isometric neck exercises spaced out during the day will reap huge benefits. Another benefit of an isometric neck exercise is that there is less movement, therefore there is less risk for injury or re-injury, especially for people who are in the process of recovery and rehabilitation or are immobilized.
For people suffering from Arthritis, doing isometric neck exercises will greatly reduce neck pain, stiffness and discomfort. Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis will find that certain movement of the neck exacerbates their problem. Isometric neck exercises will therefore aid in the relief of pain using such exercises as Static Flexion, Static Extension and Isometric Lateral Flexion.
1.Resisted neck flexion:
Stand or sit erect. Place one hand on top of the other on your forehead. Push your head forward against the resisting hands without moving your head. Hold for a count of 10 and relax. Repeat 3 times.
2.Resisted neck extension:
Stand or sit erect. Clasp your hands behind your head. Push your head backward against the resisting hands without moving your head. Hold for a count of 10 and relax. Repeat 3 times.
3.Resisted side bend:
Stand or sit erect. Place your right hand on the right side of your face. Push your head sideward against your handwithout moving your head. Hold for a count of 10 and relax. Repeat in opposite direction (i.e. left hand on left side of face). Repeat 3 times.

Isotonic exercise promotes the development of muscle endurance, muscle tone and muscle strength. These movements have also been shown to improve ligament and tendon strength, helping you prevent injuries, improve posture and develop joint stability. You can also minimize the chance of experiencing lower back pain or arthritis by following an isotonic training regimen. Isotonic training helps you strengthen a muscle throughout a range of movement. It's also easier to choose sports-specific exercises that mimic movements in your sport of choice.
Stand or sit erect with chin tucked in close to chest. Turn head slowly to right trying to bring your chin over your right shoulder. Hold for 3 seconds. Rotate head back to centre position. Pause. Repeat in opposite direction. Repeat entire sequence 5 times.
Push chin downward, trying to touch it to your chest without causing too much strain. Pause. Slowly lift head backward as far as possible without straining. Pause. Repeat 5 times.
Bend your head slowly to the right, trying to bring your right ear to your right shoulder. Pause. Return slowly to centre position. Pause. Repeat in opposite direction. Repeat sequence 5 times.

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