Cervical Isometrics can be a little tricky to perform by yourself. This makes it even more important to do these exercises correctly. It is always a good idea to connect with your physical therapist with any questions.
Cervical Isometrics can benefit from:
- Neck or Cervical pain
- Cervical muscle spasm
- Stress reduction
- To improve posture
- To improve Cervical range of motion
When to perform Cervical Isometrics:
- Cervical nerve impingement
- Forward head posture
- Cervical disc arthritis
- Bulging of a cervical disc
- Corrects muscle imbalance in the cervical region.
If done correctly, it can help to reduce pain and gain muscle strength. It is also useful to neutralize muscle imbalance and therefore correct the posture. Here is how to perform this exercise.
This exercise can be done either in a sitting or standing position. Both feet touching the floor, knees are hips width apart. Shoulders are in a relaxed position. Here, you are going to attempt to perform the neck movements (bending up, down and in sideways) against resistance, but there is no visible movement happening at the neck. In other words, you are trying to perform the movement but you are actually not performing it. I hope this makes sense.
or example, rest the palm of your hand on the same side of the forehead. Now try to touch the ear to the same shoulder and the same time push with the hand against the neck (as if you are trying to stop the movement). You should feel little pressure on the side of the neck. You can hold it to three seconds and slowly release.
Please make sure you are not pushing with your hand too hard that it starts actually hurting you. You can repeat the same for other movements as shown in pictures.
The key point is to not push too hard and not hold your breath.
Repeat the exercises in all direction 10 times once a day.
How to Progress Cervical Isometric Exercises:
The progression for cervical isometric exercises is different than the usual exercises. One can perform the same exercises if the purpose is to reduce stress or improve posture.
If a person is performing isometrics to improve range of motion as no other movement is available at the neck than gradually one can move to perform the free cervical exercise or cervical strengthening exercises.