Neck Pain Exercises



possible causes of neck pain



Neck Pain Exercises from Dr. Bryan Schuetz, The Columbus Chiropractors, Columbus, Ohio

Neck pain is one of those conditions that affect most people at some point during their lifetime. All you have to do is ask just about anyone, “…have you ever had neck pain?” Then again, maybe you shouldn’t since you’ll probably get overloaded with way too much information from several people willing to share every little detail with you.

Because of the way we are anatomically built, the neck is particularly vulnerable to injury (it has to hold up an average head weight of 15 pounds which can be quite a job, especially when we slump or slouch and that 15 pound weight falls forwards). Injury to the neck can result in minimal symptoms all the way to complete disability, making it one of the most common reasons people see doctors of all varieties for help.

Couple neck pain with headaches and now you have a real potential for disrupting lifestyles. With simple causes like poor posture, stress, work station problems or long hours at a computer, not to mention anxiety, depression and more, it’s no wonder most of us have needed help for neck pain at some point in time. So, the question remains, “…what can I do about it?”

From a chiropractic standpoint, manipulation, neck pain exercises, massage and other soft tissue techniques, and several forms of physiological therapeutics (such as ultrasound, electric stimulation, light – low level laser therapies), all work great! But, instead of (or, in addition to) things that WE do to you,let’s discuss things we can teach YOU to do on your own. There is a long list of aids that help neck pain that you can self-manage, of which some include: a home traction device, cervical pillows, neck pain exercises, posture retraining, stress management, work station modifications, work / job analysis and subsequent modifications, and more.

Most important is that YOU are in control of your own management program. All you need is a little motivation (your job) and proper training (our job). Many of these “self-help approaches” include an apparatus or device of some sort, which are technically coined, “hard durable medical supplies.” More specifically:

In our Columbus Ohio Office we usecervical traction units including (but are not limited to) inflatable collars, seated over-the-door traction units, laying on the back varieties, as well as towel traction. The concept here is that you are stretching the neck vertebra apart and if it’s done proper, it should feel good!

Don’t do it if it doesn’t or, reduce the weight until it does feel good. Another type of traction is placing a fulcrum (dense foam triangle) behind the neck while lying allowing the head to hang off the edge of the bed. Please remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program!



Cervical Pillows share the common concept of being contoured to fit the neck and head. These are thicker on the edge so the gap between the neck and shoulder point is filled in so the head is pointed straight ahead. There are many types of contoured pillows including water pillows, foam, inflatable, buckwheat, rice, and other types. However, a word of caution is in order: you may not like it at first as it can take 3-4 nights to get used to it. But, once you do, you’ll miss your pillow when you’re not able to travel with it.

Exercises.(More At Bottom Of Page) Place your hand against your head and push into the hand, allowing the head to “win” as you move through the full range of motion (forwards, backwards, sideways and rotation). Don’t forget stretching, other strengthening exercises, and fine motor control exercises are important as well. We’ll have to pick this topic up again in the near future.

Exercises For Neck Pain





Below is a short video on neck strengthening exercises




The first series of exercises for neck pain are simple front to back movements. Hold each movement for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times each.
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The next pair of neck pain exercises stretch the lateral aspects of the neck. Allow the head to lean to the right and then to the left holding each stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times each side.

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Now gently turn the head to the right and hold for 15 seconds, then to the left for 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times each side. Drop the shoulder you are turning away from for more stretch.

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For the next neck pain exercise you will need a bath towel rolled up. Place the towel behind your neck and pull with both hands gently towards the right foot and then the left foot. Hold for 10 seconds and do 3 each side. Make sure you keep your back straight to get a good stretch of the muscles that support the neck.

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For the final neck pain exercise, keep the towel in the middle of your neck and lean back for a nice stretch of the front muscles in the neck. This also helps to restore the normal curve or lordosis in the cervical spine.

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We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future. If you life in the Columbus Ohio Area just call our office at 614-436-3870for a consultation.


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