Today’s exercise will allow you to maintain mobility in your neck after treatment or regain your neck rotation range of motion. This exercise is a pain-free way to mobilize your neck. If you have any pain with rotation, especially at the end of your range of motion, this will be very helpful. This exercise can also be helpful in cases of cervicogenic headaches. 1) Find where the hairline ends to locate a noticeable “bump” or point on your neck. This is your C2 spinous process spot. 2) Place the edge of an unrolled towel over that point. 3) This exercise has to be 100% pain-free. If it is not, then the direction of your pull is slightly off or this exercise is not suitable for you so consult with your therapist before starting this exercise. 4) Cross your hands over, making sure the top hand is the same side of the direction you want to rotate towards. 5) If you are turning to the LEFT side, the RIGHT arm will pull the towel DOWNWARDS towards the middle of your chest and the LEFT arm will pull the towel roughly towards your LEFT eye. 6) To avoid losing contact with the towel, make sure it covers your face at all times. 7) Complete a pain-free rotation with a sustained towel pull, hold it at the end of the rotation for 3 seconds and return to your starting point. 8) Complete this exercise 3 times per day towards the direction of restriction.
This stretch is for your uppers traps. You’re going to start by placing your hand firmly on the chair and the other hand above your ear on your head and you’re going to lean away holding onto the chair and looking down to the floor on the right side, the side that you are stretching. You’re going to hold this stretch for 30 seconds and do three sets and you’ll feel that right on the upper traps.
Start by reaching your hand down your spine while pointing the elbow to the ceiling. Bring your left hand over the head by the base of the skull. Next, look down and away from the right side and gently pull the right ear away from the right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds 3 sets. This stretch is great to increase the mobility of the neck for Whip lash injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents or sports injuries, or tight and imbalanced muscles in the shoulder complex.
This exercise strengthens core stability muscles of the neck. Lying down with your knees bent place a small towel behind the arch of the neck. Next, press the tip of the tongue up against the roof of the mouth and do a chin nod. It will feel like you are giving your self a double chin. Then pivoting off the towel, slightly lift the head off the mat while keeping the lower back flat. Next, bring your arms up while keeping the chin nod engaged and the lower back flat. With your fists shoulder width apart slowly bring them apart even more for another for 5 seconds and then take 5 seconds to slowly bring them back up to the start position again. Do 15 repetitions of this for 3 sets. This is great for neck injuries such as whiplash, acute and chronic neck strains and headaches caused from neck injuries.
This exercise stretches the upper back and rhomboid muscles as well as to increase mobility in the shoulder blades & upper back. Begin by engaging your inner core stability below your belly button. Then keeping the head up and chin slightly tucked, clasp your fingers together and reach forward and slight down arching the upper back. Hold for 30 secs, repeat 3 sets 3-4 times daily. This stretch is great to do if you are sitting down on your computer working all day, standing or doing a lot of repetitive lifting where your shoulders, upper back and neck are tight, stiff and sore.
This is the cat stretch for mid back. Start on your hands and knees both shoulder width apart. Keep your head up and your chin gently tucked with your inner core engaged below the belly button. If you have wrist pain then alternatively, you can go on your fists to support your body weight. Then arch your mid back towards the ceiling like a cat making your shoulder blades wide! Hold for 30 seconds and do 3 sets twice per day. This exercise is great for increasing mobility in the upper back, neck, stretching the Rhomboids and muscles of the neck & spine after injuries such as whiplash, neck, shoulder and mid and low back strains.
A catastrophic cervical spinal cord injury occurs with structural distortion of the cervical spinal column due to actual or potential damage to the spinal cord. Damage above the C5 vertebrae in the spinal column results in the greatest risk of immediate sudden death for an athlete. Above this level, damage may impair the spinal cord’s ability to transmit respiratory or circulatory control from the brain. Effective acute care is critical in preventing permanent dysfunction or death in an athlete as a biochemical cascade of events can occur during the initial 24 to 72 hours post-injury.