Three physical therapy exercises to help your neck arthritis

Physical Therapy for Neck Arthritis

Feeling stiffness and pain in your neck? If you’re older, these could be signs that you have neck arthritis. 

The neck is made up of vertebrae, facet joints, cartilage and discs that can all wear out as you age. This natural wearing is what leads to cervical osteoarthritis. It’s reported that more than 85% of people over 60 have this type of arthritis. Fortunately, physical therapy can help treat the symptoms of neck arthritis. For instance, your physical therapists can prescribe helpful therapeutic exercises such as the following: 

  • Chin tuck

Purpose: This physical therapy exercise can help people with neck arthritis in two ways. It can stretch the muscles in the back of the neck, and it can help strengthen the frontal neck muscles

How to do the chin tuck exercise: 

  • Sit up straight in a stable chair. 
  • Slowly pull your head straight back until you develop a double chin, keeping your chin and nose level. 
  • Hold this position for three to five seconds. 
  • Return your head to its original position and rest for a few seconds. 
  • Repeat these steps until you’ve done 10 to 15 repetitions of the exercise. 

  • Head rotation

Purpose: Head rotations are physical therapy exercises intended to stretch muscles in the side of your neck

How to do head rotations: 

  • Sit with good head and neck posture and your eyes looking straight ahead. 
  • Slowly rotate your head as far as you can to the right. Make sure your chin stays level as your head rotates.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. 
  • Slowly rotate your head as far as you can to the left.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. 
  • Continue to do left and right head rotations until you’ve stretched both sides of your neck three to five times.

  • Side bend

Purpose: Side bends are physical therapy exercises designed to ease neck arthritis symptoms by stretching muscles in the side of your neck and the top of your shoulder. 

How to do the side bend exercise:

  • Sit upright with your chin level. 
  • Grab the bottom of your chair with your hands to help keep your shoulders from riding up. 
  • Slowly tilt your head as far as you can to the left. 
  • Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. 
  • Return your head to the neutral position. 
  • Slowly tilt your head as far as you can to the right. 
  • Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. 
  • Repeat the exercise until each side of your neck has been stretched three to five times. 

Find top-notch physical therapy for neck arthritis at Advent PT

Seeking effective physical therapy for your neck arthritis? Our team at Advent Physical Therapy is ready and willing to help treat your cervical osteoarthritis. We can do a free screening to see how arthritis is affecting your neck. Then, our physical therapists can create a unique therapy plan for you that can help: 

  • Slash your pain. 
  • Boost neck mobility and strength. 
  • Improve your ability to perform common daily activities. 
  • Slow the progression of your osteoarthritis. 

You can also sign up for virtual therapy and at-home care appointments with our team, which can help treat your symptoms right in your home. 

Contact our team today for more information about our arthritis treatment services or to schedule an initial appointment.