EXERCISE TOOLKIT

Neck/Cervical Spine


If any of the exercises cause pain please stop immediately and as with all exercise and stretches if you are uncertain as to whether it is suitable for you please contact us or your medical provider.

Supported Neck Side Stretch

Place your hands behind your neck, and gently tilt your neck (moving your ear towards your shoulder). You can lift your chin slightly if you wish. You should feel a stretch on the opposite side. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5 times to each side.

How to Improve Your Neck Rotation

This is an excellent exercise to improve rotation and mobility in your neck.

Rotate your neck slowly to the left by looking over your left shoulder. Take your neck to a comfortable point to the left and then to the right. Repeat 5 times to each side. Make sure you keep your shoulder and back relaxed.

Neck Semi Circles to Improve Neck Mobility

Circle your neck to one side, and then the other side. Move your neck in a semi-circle direction. Repeat 5 times to each side initially. Don’t worry if you get some crunching or scrunching in the neck, this is normal. You can use this exercise to get your neck more mobile.

How to Do a Neck Retraction Exercise to Improve Neck Posture

Gently pull your head back as far as possible and down slightly. You will feel some gentle tension at the front and back of your neck. Hold for one second and repeat 5 times initially. This exercise will help your neck and upper back posture especially if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, tablet or driving.

How to Stretch Your Neck Muscles in Flexion

Bend your neck forwards, and place a hand on your back of your head and very gently encourage to tilt so your neck so that your chin tucks downwards. This will stretch your neck muscles. Hold the stretch for 2 seconds initially then relax and repeat 5 times.

Spikey Ball Neck Self Massage - Sitting

Hold a spikey ball over your shoulder and neck, and gently massage the area. Work into tight and tender areas using a circular motion with the ball. This will help reduce muscle tension in the neck and shoulder. Repeat on both sides.

Spikey Ball Neck Self Massage - Lying Down

Lie flat on your back, and rest your head on a pillow. Tuck your chin in slightly. Place a spikey ball under your neck, and roll it around to massage your neck muscles. Make the massage stronger by removing the pillow. This is a good exercise for releasing muscle tension and fatigue in the neck.

Please note – spikey massage balls are available for sale at Osteopathy For All. Please ask your osteopath or receptionist.

If you have tension in your lower neck you may want to try the thoracic or mid back exercises too.


Other 'Spine' Toolkits

You may be interested in our other ‘Spine’ chapters within the Exercise Toolkit: