Physical therapy is used to treat many diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Simple and safe exercises save us from various ailments. What exactly to do if your neck hurts? In this case, exercises come to the rescue for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.
The neck is one of the most vulnerable places
The neck is indeed very vulnerable and requires careful handling. The vessels that feed the brain pass through it, as do the nerves, through which the signals that regulate our activity (motor activity, for example) enter the body.
Our neck is in tension for most of the day, as its muscles have to continuously support the head, whose mass reaches 2 kg or more. Normally, the musculature copes with its task. But to this we add the uncomfortable and irregular postures that we tend to assume, the prolonged immobility. We load the muscles unevenly, depriving them of rest and obstructing the blood supply.
The first problems with the cervical spine arise precisely because of the excessive fatigue of the neck muscles. Typical symptoms are muscle loss and fatigue. This primary problem is solved with a simple massage, which I will discuss shortly after.
Often people do not pay attention to such symptoms, so we are talking about the treatment of a problem that has turned into a disease - cervical osteochondrosis.
Hence the importance of loading the neck with osteochondrosis.
How Physiotherapy Can Save You From Pain
With the development of the acute stage of cervical osteochondrosis, first of all, it is necessary to remove the pain syndrome. When the pain symptoms go away, you can start treatment with physical therapy. This is a series of exercises for cervical osteochondrosis, which includes a series of head movements, including isometric exercises for the neck.
Gymnastics for the neck with osteochondrosis is a must. Without it, the treatment will not give the desired effect. Indeed, without a strong muscular corset, the spine will continue to suffer from the vertical pressure of gravity.
The main natural cause of all spinal diseases is severity. Its vector is perpendicular to the earth's surface. Now let's imagine what happens to the spine if this load presses on it not strictly vertically. For example, this happens when we are hunched over, sitting at the table, immersed in different cards.
The neck is bent, inclined 45 degrees from the vertical, if mediated. Due to the gravity of the head, there is a slight diagonal displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other. The intervertebral cartilages undergo an unusual load for them, over time they are erased and deformed.
Normally this position is also compensated for by strong neck muscles, but what strong muscles can we talk about when a person is barely moving? That is the problem.
If we delve into this problem, nutrition, more precisely, the lack of joint-forming substances in food complicates the situation. Cartilage tissue is already slowly renewing itself and if the body lacks the necessary substances, it has nothing to renew itself from.
Hence, the main cause of osteochondrosis is severity. But strong muscles can hinder this process. This means that weak neck muscles are already a secondary cause of osteochondrosis. Hence the conclusion: if cervical osteochondrosis has begun, exercises will help solve this problem.
Physical therapy strengthens the neck muscles, relieves clamps and improves blood circulation. This is an effective method for the treatment of osteochondrosis and for the prevention of its progression in the future.
Thus, the problem can be solved by comprehensively acting on all the reasons for its appearance:
- Strengthen your neck muscles with neck exercises for osteochondrosis. Exercises for cervical osteochondrosis will be given below.
- Avoid poor postures and prolonged immobile sitting in one place.
- Eat special joint supplements or develop a complete diet for yourself.
It is best to do everything at the same time.
In addition to osteochondrosis, another unpleasant thing can happen in the neck - hypothermia. In this case, no amount of exercise will help you until the inflammation subsides. Do not delay treatment for a long time.
And another option, limited head mobility. In this case, it is necessary to carefully knead the neck and do it for the neck with osteochondrosis to the amplitude that allows you to perform painless movement.
Speaking of dizziness
The thinning of the intervertebral discs in the cervical spine leads to the fact that the nerve endings can be pinched. In addition to the nerves, the blood vessels also suffer. This leads to a lack of oxygen supply to the brain and manifests itself in the form of dizziness. There are other symptoms: headache.
There are also exercises for dizziness with cervical osteochondrosis. In fact, they are the same as in osteochondrosis. Their meaning is to stretch tense muscles, strengthen them, release nerves and blood vessels from clamps.
In general, any exercise for osteochondrosis (without burden) improves blood circulation throughout the body, including more intense blood exchange between the body and the head. Our brains receive more nutrition and oxygen, which affects productivity.
Resistance exercises are not recommended for cervical osteochondrosis. They definitely won't save you from osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, but they can speed up the cartilage breakdown process.
For various spinal diseases, weight training exercises should generally be performed with great care. Depending on the disease, movements that give a vertical load to the spine, flexion of the back and so on can be excluded.
How long to do physical therapy?
Human laziness has no boundaries. We often stop studying as soon as the problem goes away. A person is engaged in fitness while losing weight. As soon as he has achieved the desired result, everything stops. With diseases, this approach is not only ineffective, but also fraught with the return of the disease.
For the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis, it is necessary to periodically take care of the neck. This is easily done at home. Plus, it doesn't take long. The process is very pleasant: the feeling of warmth and relaxation in the muscles will not keep you waiting.
You can also purchase a collar and wear it during acute periods. But here are some subtleties. After getting used to the artificial support, you can live your whole life, because the corset holds the head instead of the muscles. And this is not at all useful for the cervical spine. As a result, the muscles finally lose their tone.
The therapeutic effect of exercise against cervical osteochondrosis lasts from 2 weeks to a month. If you stop exercising as soon as your muscles lose tone again, you risk having a headache and difficulty turning your head again. Therefore, exercises to strengthen the neck muscles in this case play a huge role in maintaining comfort.
So you decide: to do exercises for osteochondrosis or not.
Neck gymnastics complex
It is better not to do exercises with exacerbation of cervical osteochondrosis. The doctor should treat acute symptoms first. After all, if it hurts to move your head, all gymnastics will be painful.
The most effective exercises for cervical osteochondrosis are very simple: head movements plus isometric muscle tension. Everything is done very simply: at home, at work, on the go.
Here is a rough set of exercises (we agree that the starting position is sitting straight, hands on knees):
- In the starting position, he gently turns his head to the right until it stops, then to the left. Feel your neck muscles stretch. The nuance here is this: turn your head and try to twist it a little more without jerking, hold this tension for 5 seconds. In general, any spine exercise should be started with exercises to strengthen the neck muscles. These include the development of its flexibility and strength. Make 5 turns in each direction.
- Now tilt your head to the side so that the ear is close to the shoulder. It is not necessary to lift the shoulder! In the same way as in the previous movement, keep the tension. If you have a flexible neck, use your hands to bring your ear to your shoulder. If it hurts, perform the movements with painless amplitude! Make 5 left and right turns.
- Now make circular movements with your head clockwise and counterclockwise. 8 movements in each direction. Slowly! You can hold your head with your hands. This is effective gymnastics for osteochondrosis of the neck.
- The warm-up is over and now strength exercises: put your right hand on your right temple. Try to tilt your head to the right and prevent this movement with your hand. Make an effort so that it is heavy, but your head is moving in the right direction. 10 times in each direction (to move left, use the other hand, respectively).
- Now take your head from behind (occipital region) and, through the resistance of your hands, try to tilt the back of your head back 5 times, then 5 times move your head back in a horizontal plane. It will be posted 10 times in total.
- Now rest your palms on your forehead and tilt your head down through the resistance of your hands (pull your chin towards your chest). Do this 10 times, then move your head forward horizontally through the resistance (like doves as they walk).
- And finally, you can lengthen the trapezius by raising and lowering your shoulders. Raised - delayed for 2-3 seconds (pull up), lowered - relaxed. Do 10 repetitions.
- Pull your neck in different directions, gymnastics is over. Do all this once a day. This is a great neck exercise for osteochondrosis.
What other exercises can you do? For example, for the flexibility of the neck. These are also exercises for the neck muscles, but they also pull the tendons. This will make your neck more flexible.
Additional exercises for flexibility
This exercise should be performed not only with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, but also, in principle, at the beginning of 30-40 years. At this age the degradation of muscle fibers begins, the loss of flexibility is gaining a particularly rapid momentum, if you do not commit yourself to your physical form.
- Stretch your chin to your chest, help your head with your hands.
- Use your hands to tilt your head to the side so that your ear touches your shoulder. Stretch the side of your neck with your hand.
It's enough. And remember what you can't do with cervical osteochondrosis: work through the pain.
Elements of massage
When your head hurts or your neck is stiff, you can grind and massage the muscles.
- The muscle that supports our head is attached to the back of the head. Run your index and middle fingers over the muscle from the back of your head down, applying moderate pressure (so it doesn't hurt, but feels nice). Sweep this muscle down to shoulder level.
- Now we feel the trapezoids with our hands and knead them. The trapezius is located between the neck and the shoulder from the back. After such simple manipulations, you seem to be reborn.
Among other things, make sure your neck doesn't blow. After the massage, she has warmed up and is more vulnerable to cold than ever.
And, finally, we remind you that while cervical osteochondrosis manifests itself acutely, it is not necessary to perform therapeutic exercises.
To sum up: if you perform the exercises listed in the article, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine will not completely disappear (after all, the cartilage is already damaged), but the condition will greatly improve, the clamps, the pain symptoms will disappear, the disease will stop to progress. So, you can forget about this unpleasant ailment and live a full life.
But remember, neck exercises for osteochondrosis should be done regularly.