Try these two neck exercises to reduce arthritis symptoms

Neck Exercises for Arthritis

Arthritis can attack almost any joint in your body, but you might not realize that you can develop arthritis in your neck. The neck vertebrae are connected by pairs of joints called facet joints. Over time, these joints can wear out and become inflamed and painful. 

Physical therapy is an effective option for treating cervical or neck arthritis, and one therapy technique your therapist might use is therapeutic exercises. Such exercises are designed to improve neck strength and flexibility as well as decrease neck pain and other arthritis symptoms. Here are two neck exercises that your therapy specialist might use to treat neck arthritis: 

1.  Chin tucks

There is a group of muscles at the top of your neck called the suboccipital muscles. When these muscles get tight, they can cause headaches, but they can also pull on arthritic neck joints. In turn, this can lead to increased pain. Chin tucks are a therapeutic exercise that physical therapists recommend to stretch and strengthen the suboccipital muscles, and it’s one of the most commonly used neck exercises for cervical arthritis. 

Steps for performing chin tucks
  • Start by sitting up straight with your head centered over your shoulders. 
  • Push your head backward until you get a double chin. You can use two fingers to help if necessary. 
  • Hold the stretch for three to five seconds, and then return to the start position. 
  • Repeat these steps until you’ve done a total of five reps. This exercise can also be done throughout the day if your neck starts feeling tense again. 

2. Neck rotations

Tight muscles on the sides of your neck can also cause you problems if you have neck arthritis. There are several neck exercises for cervical arthritis that can stretch these muscles, and a common option physical therapists choose is the neck rotation exercise.

Steps to performing neck rotations
  • The starting point for this exercise should be to sit with good posture in a stable chair. 
  • Next, slowly turn your head to the left until you feel a stretch in the right side of your neck. 
  • Hold this stretch for three to five seconds before returning your head to the starting position. 
  • Then, slowly turn your head to the right to stretch the opposite side of your neck.
  • Continue to repeat these steps until you’ve stretched both sides of your neck five times. 

Advent Physical Therapy offers neck exercises and other treatment options for cervical arthritis

Are you having trouble moving your head and neck due to arthritis pain? Our team at Advent Physical Therapy can help. We offer a complimentary screening service that’s designed to help pinpoint the issues your cervical arthritis is causing. Our team can also use therapy methods like therapeutic neck exercises for arthritis in a personalized plan for you, and your plan might also include other therapy techniques like: 


Don’t wait to start getting our help with your arthritis. Contact our team today for more information about how we can treat arthritis or to schedule an initial appointment.