Most people don’t realize that they can get arthritis in the neck. Your neck contains two facet joints between each of its seven vertebrae, and as you age, these joints can wear out. Arthritis in your neck joints can make it harder to move your head. It can also lead to symptoms like stiffness and pain.
Physical therapists can help you find treatment options for your arthritis, and there are two neck exercises for arthritis that these specialists might recommend for you.
Neck drop and raise
Some neck exercises are designed to help improve your ability to move your neck when you have arthritis. Such exercises are also intended to help stretch out tight muscles and decrease pain, and an arthritis exercise for your neck that can offer these benefits is the neck drop and raise.
Steps for doing the neck drop and raise
- Start the neck drop and raise exercise by sitting or standing up straight. If you elect to sit, make sure you’re sitting in a stable chair.
- Slowly let your head drop forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. You might not be able to at first, but your goal should be to touch your chin to your chest. Hold this stretch for about 10 seconds.
- Return your head to the neutral position, and then tilt it back until you feel a stretch in the front of the neck. This position should also be held for about 10 seconds.
- Continue to repeat both stretching positions until you’ve stretched the front and back of your neck five times
Sideways head tilt
Another neck exercise that can help reduce neck arthritis symptoms is the sideways head tilt. This exercise is intended to help you stretch tense muscles in the sides of your neck, and releasing the tension in these muscles can allow them to better support arthritic neck joints.
Steps for performing the sideways head tilt
- Sit or stand up straight with your head centered over your shoulders.
- Slowly tilt your head to the right to stretch the left side of your neck, and hold this stretch for about 10 seconds before returning your head to the neutral position.
- Next, tilt your head slowly to the left to stretch the opposite side of your neck. This stretch should also be held for 10 seconds.
- Repeat these steps until you’ve stretched each side of your neck five times. Also, try to avoid lifting your shoulder as you tilt your head as this decreases the effectiveness of the exercise.
Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center offers exercises and other treatments for neck arthritis
Neck arthritis patients can find effective treatment at Health Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Center, Edison. We offer free screenings to confirm that arthritis is the cause of your neck symptoms. Our team can also create a one-on-one treatment plan for you, and this plan may include beneficial therapy techniques such as:
- Active release
- Graston Technique®
- Therapeutic exercises
- Spinal rehab
Get Ready to live a pain-free life and take the next step to start getting our help with your neck arthritis? Contact our team today for more information about how we can help or to schedule an initial appointment.