Exercise 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 really very vulnerable and requires careful handling. Vessels that feed the brain pass through it, as well as nerves, through which signals that regulate our activity (motor activity, for example) enter the body.
Our neck is in tension for most of the day, since its muscles need to continuously hold the head, the mass of which reaches 2 or more kg. Normally, the musculature copes with its task. But add to this the uncomfortable and irregular postures we tend to adopt, the extended immobility. We load the muscles unevenly, depriving them of rest and obstructing the blood supply.
The first problems with the cervical spine arise precisely due to excessive fatigue of the neck muscles. Typical symptoms are leakage and muscle fatigue. This primary problem is solved with a simple massage, which I will talk about a little later.
Often people do not pay attention to such symptoms, therefore, we are talking about the treatment of a problem that has transformed into a disease - cervical osteochondrosis.
Hence the importance of charging for the neck with osteochondrosis.
How physical therapy 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 begin treatment with exercise therapy. This is a set of exercises for cervical osteochondrosis, which includes a number 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 natural root cause of all spinal diseases is gravity. 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 papers.
The neck is bent, inclined 45 degrees relative to the vertical, if averaged. Due to the severity of the head, there is a slight diagonal displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other. The intervertebral cartilages experience an unusual load for them, over time they are erased and deformed.
Normally, even this position is compensated by strong neck muscles, but what strong muscles can we talk about when a person hardly moves? That is the problem.
If we delve deeper into this issue, then nutrition, more precisely, the lack of joint-forming substances in food complicates the situation. Cartilage tissue is already being renewed slowly, and if the body lacks the necessary substances, it has nothing to renew itself from.
So, the root cause of osteochondrosis is gravity. 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 in solving this problem.
Exercise 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 the neck muscles with neck exercises for osteochondrosis. Exercises for cervical osteochondrosis will be given below.
- Avoid incorrect postures and prolonged motionless sitting in one place.
- Eat special joint supplements or develop a complete diet for yourself.
It's better to do it all at the same time.
In addition to osteochondrosis, another unpleasant thing can happen to the neck - hypothermia. In this case, no amount of exercise will help you until the inflammation subsides. Do not delay the treatment for a long time.
And another option, limited head mobility. In this case, you need to carefully knead the neck and do it for the neck with osteochondrosis to the amplitude that allows you to perform the movement painlessly.
Thinning of the intervertebral discs in the cervical spine leads to the fact that nerve endings can be pinched. In addition to the nerves, 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 for osteochondrosis. Their meaning is to stretch the pinched muscles, strengthen them, release the nerves and blood vessels from the clamps.
In general, any physical exercise with osteochondrosis (without burdens) helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body, including more intense blood exchange between the body and the head. Our brain gets more nutrition and oxygen, and this affects productivity.
Resistance exercises are not recommended for cervical osteochondrosis. They will definitely not save you from osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, but they can accelerate the process of cartilage degradation.
For various diseases of the spine, weight-bearing exercises should generally be performed with great care. Depending on the disease, movements that give a vertical load to the spinal column, back flexion, and so on may be excluded.
How long to do exercise therapy?
Human laziness has no boundaries. Often we 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, you need to periodically deal with your neck. This is easily done at home. Moreover, it does not take much time. The process is very pleasant - the feeling of warmth and relaxation in the muscles will not keep you waiting.
You can also buy a neck brace and wear it during acute periods. But there are some subtleties here. Having got used to artificial support, you can live your whole life, because the corset holds the head instead of muscles. And this is not at all useful for the cervical spine. As a result, 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 experiencing headaches and difficulty turning your head again. Therefore, exercises to strengthen the muscles of the neck in this case play a huge role in maintaining comfort.
So decide - to do exercises for osteochondrosis or not.
Neck gymnastics complex
It is better not to do any exercises with exacerbation of cervical osteochondrosis. Your 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 road.
Here is an approximate set of exercises (let's agree that the initial position is sitting straight, hands on knees):
- In the initial position, smoothly turn your 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 turn it a little further without jerking, keep this tension for 5 seconds. In general, it is better to start any exercises for the spine with exercises to strengthen the muscles of the neck. These include developing her flexibility and strength. Make 5 turns in each direction.
- Now tilt your head to the side so that your ear is close to your shoulder. There is no need to lift the shoulder! In the same way as in the previous movement, hold the tension. If you have a flexible neck, use your hands to bring your ear to your shoulder. If it hurts, do the movements with a painless amplitude! Perform 5 bends to the right and left.
- 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 an effective gymnastics for osteochondrosis of the neck.
- The warm-up is over, and now exercises for strength: put your right hand on the right temple. Try to tilt your head to the right, and with your hand prevent this movement. Make such an effort that it is heavy, but your head moves in the right direction. 10 times in each direction (to move to the left, use the other hand, respectively).
- Now grab 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 move your head back 5 times in a horizontal plane. It will be released 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 to your chest). Do this 10 times, then move your head horizontally forward through resistance (like doves while walking).
- And finally, you can stretch the trapezoid by raising and lowering the shoulders. Raised - delayed for 2-3 seconds (pull up), lowered - relaxed. Do 10 reps.
- Pull your neck in different directions, the gymnastics is over. Do all this once a day. This is an excellent neck exercise for osteochondrosis.
What other exercises can you do? For example, for the flexibility of the neck. These are also exercises for the muscles of the neck, 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, in principle, at the onset of 30-40 years. At this age, the degradation of muscle fibers begins, the loss of flexibility is gaining especially rapid momentum, if you do not engage in 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 pain.
When your head hurts or your neck is stiff, you can grind and knead your muscles.
- The muscle that holds our head is attached to the back of the head. Slide your index and middle fingers over the muscle from the back of the head and down, applying moderate pressure (so that it doesn't hurt, but it's pleasant). Extend this muscle to shoulder level.
- Now we feel for the trapezoid with our hands and knead them. The trapezoid is located between the neck and shoulder from the back. After such simple manipulations, you seem to be reborn.
Among other things, make sure that your neck does not blow. After the massage, she is warmed up and more vulnerable to the cold than ever.
And, finally, we remind you that while cervical osteochondrosis is acutely manifested, therapeutic exercises do not need to be done.
To summarize: if you do 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 noticeably improve, the clamps, pain symptoms will go away, the disease will stop progressing. Thus, you can forget about this unpleasant ailment and live a full life.
But remember, neck exercises for osteochondrosis should be done regularly.