What exercises are recommended for a hernia in the cervical spine

The cervical spine is vulnerable to the development of hernias. This is due to structural features of the vertebrae. Cervical hernias are accompanied by pain and discomfort. At times the pain is so severe that the disease greatly reduces the quality of life.

Therapeutic exercises for a hernia of the cervical spine are designed to reduce all unpleasant sensations. Exercise therapy is part of the complex for the elimination of hernial formations, it is recommended without fail for the most effective therapy.

The goals of physiotherapy exercises

Exercise therapy for hernias of the cervical spine is selected according to the current stage of the disease, in accordance with other methods of therapy. A set of gymnastic exercises is thought out individually by the attending physician. The main tasks of exercises for cervical hernia:

  • Increased muscle tone;
  • Increased intervertebral space;
  • Restore mobility without concomitant pain;
  • Normalization of lymph circulation;
  • Lowering pressure on nerve endings;
  • Reduction up to the complete elimination of hernia pain.

During the gymnastics, the muscles of the neck and chest are involved, only smooth movements without sharp jerks are used to perform.

Recommendations for classes

At the initial stages of performing exercises with intervertebral hernia of the cervical spine, it is recommended to adhere to the following rules:

  1. It is necessary to be engaged daily;
  2. The initial training time is only 5 – 10 minutes, subsequently the duration of exercise therapy increases to 40 – 45 minutes;
  3. The recommended time for classes is morning hours, so that during the day the pain recedes;
  4. It is impossible that during exercise for the cervical spine with a hernia, pain, dizziness;
  5. The number of repetitions for each exercise is 6-8 times;
  6. 2 hours before training, you can not eat, exercise therapy is carried out on an empty stomach.

Regular and correctly performed exercises for a hernia of the cervical spine will help speed up the healing process, as well as improve well-being.

What results can be achieved

With regular exercise therapy with a hernia of the cervical spine, the following results appear:

  • Complete elimination of pain;
  • Normalization of blood circulation, oxygen delivery to muscle tissue;
  • Elimination of the symptoms caused by hernia – headaches, noise and ringing in the ears, etc .;
  • Elimination of muscle spasm, restoration of their normal tone;
  • Restoration of motor functions in case of limb paralysis resulting from a hernia;
  • Prevention of enlarged hernia.

It is strongly not recommended to choose gymnastics for the neck with a hernia of the cervical spine on their own. This is the task of a qualified doctor. Exercise therapy eliminates strong stress on the body and jerking movements. Gymnastics is carried out smoothly, accurately, always under the supervision of an instructor.

Contraindications to gymnastics

Therapeutic gymnastics with a hernia of the cervical spine has a number of contraindications, temporary and permanent (see table).

Chronic diseases in acute formOncology
Postoperative recovery periodMental illness
Recent injuries to any spineDiseases of the cardiovascular system
Internal bleeding injuriesEpilepsy
Severe painRespiratory system disorders
Sharp hernia

If there are general contraindications, instead of selecting exercises for a hernia of the cervical spine, massage or isometric gymnastics is prescribed.

Common Exercise Complexes

Exercise therapy for a hernia of the cervical spine is prescribed by a doctor based on the current situation of the patient. Distinguish complexes for people with acute pain and in periods of remission. In acute pain, a sparing version of exercise therapy is prescribed, which is performed without head movements or in a fixing protective collar.

There are many variations of exercises for a hernia of the cervical spine. In some types of exercise therapy, yoga asanas, elements of breathing exercises and aerobics are used. Below are the most simple and safe options for physical activity, the implementation of which will benefit.

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Gymnastics during periods of exacerbation

Exercises with hernias of the cervical spine in acute form are aimed at alleviating the patient’s condition and relaxing muscle tissue, so that the space between the vertebral discs increases:

  • Relaxation in a horizontal position on a hard surface. You need to lie on the floor with your back down, legs straightened and with your hands along the torso. Exercise is aimed at maximum relaxation. The position should be held for 5 minutes.
  • After the relaxation stage, you should pull your toes away from you and towards yourself. Perform 6 to 8 repetitions.
  • Alternately pulling the toes of each leg towards the head. For each leg, a minimum of 8 repetitions should be done.
  • Dilution of arms in different directions (in relation to the body angle of approximately 45 degrees), palms up. In this position, bend and extend the arms in the elbow joint, make at least 8 repetitions.
  • Smooth pulling of legs to the chest. When moving your legs, you need to touch the heels of the floor for as long as possible. The chin stretches to the knees, hold the legs taut for several seconds. This exercise with a hernia of the cervical spine must be performed with caution, without making sudden movements – there is a risk of injury.
  • Arms spread out to the s >

After periods of exacerbation, classes of greater intensity are permissible. The variety of exercises for the neck with hernias in the cervical region is greater, but we must not forget about the important rule – all actions are carried out smoothly. During remission, exercises with head movements are permissible.

  1. Standing flat on the floor in the normal position, make smooth tilts and turns of the head. Manipulations are carried out in all directions. This exercise is aimed at a hernia of the cervical spine to stretch and relax the muscles, if they are in high tone. Each turn and tilt should fix the head for a few seconds.
  2. In the same position, you can use light dumbbells (up to 2 kg) or perform actions only with your hands. Raise straight arms to the sides so that they form a straight line with the shoulders. Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds.
  3. Lying on the floor or on the exercise mat, raise your head as far as possible and hold in this position for 5 – 10 seconds.
  4. Take the knee-elbow position. Point your head down and completely relax your neck muscles. Under the weight of the head, the vertebrae stretch and straighten.
  5. In the same position (on all fours), bend your back up, hold the pose for 3-5 seconds. Make 6 – 8 repetitions.

The listed exercises are not the only ones that are used as therapeutic exercises. All ongoing activities are aimed at alleviating the human condition, restoring the normal position of the vertebrae.

Hernia is a serious disease, attempts at self-medication can only aggravate the pain syndrome. Improper exercise can harm the spine, provoke exacerbation and progression of the hernia.

A complex of therapeutic exercises for hernias of the cervical spine is a necessary component of therapy. If you were prescribed the course of exercise therapy, do not neglect the classes. Regular attendance of training sessions, where a qualified instructor monitors the correct execution of the exercises, will help restore the usual rhythm of life, get rid of pain and accelerate the healing of a hernia.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues