Exercise therapy for cervical osteochondrosis exercises

Exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. Exercises and v >

Osteochondrosis of the spine over the past years is considered an epidemic of the 21st century. Surgeons, neurologists, family doctors in all corners of the globe sound the alarm: this disease is characteristic of the elderly. Environmental degradation, frequent nutritional errors, lack of exercise lead to the fact that after 25 years every third marks signs of osteochondrosis.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Experienced professors in the field of neurology consider the neck a “crystal vessel” of the human body. This is logical, since the muscles supporting the spine in this place are extremely delicate, and the vertebrae themselves are thin and fragile. It is not difficult to recognize osteochondrosis in the neck, the most common signs include:

1. The pain. Initially, the pain syndrome is insignificant, the patient feels a slight discomfort, aggravated by turns and tilts of the head. With an increase in the degree of osteochondrosis, the pain is extremely intense, in which ordinary analgesics almost do not help.

2. Limitation of mobility. There is an increase in the tone of the muscles surrounding the spine. In this way, the body protects itself from pain. The inclination of the neck is limited both to the sides and back and forth.

3. Numbness. With osteochondrosis, there is a malnutrition of the sensitive nerve endings located in the neck, upper arms. The patient, when touching these areas, notes a decrease in sensitivity or a feeling of “crawling creeps.”

Running cases of degenerative changes in the spine lead to serious problems:

  • Paresis of the upper limbs. Thinning of the intervertebral discs leads to a “subsidence” of the vertebrae, this entails a strong mechanical compression of the nerves emerging from the spinal cord. The process of transmission of nerve impulses to the hands is disrupted. A person has limited arm strength, range of motion. With a long process, muscle atrophy occurs. Hands look thin, flabby.
  • Neck strain. Violation of the anatomy of the spine leads to its curvature. One can notice a flattening of lordosis (normally, the spine at the cervical level protrudes forward), in extremely severe cases a torticollis appears, the patient’s head in this case is steadily deflected to the side from the central axis of the body.
  • Vascular pathology. The constriction of blood vessels due to a violation of the musculoskeletal structures can cause such phenomena as jumps in blood pressure, increased intracranial pressure, persistent headaches, and noise in the temples.

Cases of syncopal conditions of patients due to sudden head movements when blood flow to the brain was abruptly described are described.

Preparatory recommendations before the course of exercise therapy

Before starting physical therapy classes, the patient must know how to prepare himself. The main rules, the implementation of which will ensure safety and comfort in the implementation

  • The absence of severe pain in the neck. During an exacerbation of osteochondrosis, exercise therapy classes are contraindicated.
  • The treatment complex is performed half an hour or an hour before meals, or two hours after.
  • Some rehabilitologists advise to massage the neck or warm in the shower to enhance the effect. Increased blood flow will quickly relax overstressed muscles.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Physical therapy exercises can harm the patient with some painful conditions:

  • Diseases accompanied by fever. This group includes acute infectious processes, hormonal disorders (thyrotoxicosis, pheochromocytoma) and others.
  • Early recovery period after myocardial infarction, stroke.
  • When breastfeeding, pregnancy, classes require special care and are carried out after a thorough examination of the woman.
  • Inflammatory skin changes, including extensive ulcers.
  • Chronic diseases of the liver, kidneys, heart, accompanied by a pronounced disruption of the patient.
  • Malignant neoplasms.

IMPORTANT! Do not perform therapeutic exercises if you feel unwell: dizziness, weakness, severe fatigue.

Exercise therapy for cervical osteochondrosis at home

Dosed physical activity is a real panacea in the fight against symptoms of osteochondrosis. No need to be lazy when doing the complex, do it constantly. LFK instructors advise you to do exercises 2 times a day in the first weeks, in the future it will be enough to perform them once every 2-3 days.

There are many methods named after the doctors who developed them. The exercises are similar in them, the goal is to improve such indicators of the state of the body as:

  • flexibility;
  • elasticity of the ligamentous apparatus; removal of muscle blocks in the neck;
  • increased tone of the neck muscles responsible for static load;
  • increased microcirculation in the cervical spine.

Constant physical activity trains discipline in the patient and has a slight psychotherapeutic effect.

The complex proposed below is based on time-tested exercises.

Cervical sprain

✎ Sit comfortably with your hands on your knees. Slowly, without jerking, turn your head to the left, as if trying to see what is happening behind you. Hold your head in this position for 15-20 seconds. Slowly return to starting position. The breath is slow, deep. Make the same turn to the right. Repeat the exercise three times for each side.

✎ Tilts the head back and forth. Methodists call this exercise “Look into the sky.” Gently unbend your neck, freeze at the highest point for 15 seconds. Then gently bend your head until the chin touches the chest. Feel the neck stretch. The breath is smooth, do not hold it on the inhale or exhale. The flexion-extension complex is repeated 3 times.

Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the neck

✎ It is performed while sitting, the back is straight, the chin is held straight. Quick head rotations to the sides, you do not need to take your head deep. The meaning of the exercise is to work out the muscle frame. You do not need to twist your head very quickly – dizziness may appear. 3-4 approaches for 30 seconds are done.

✎ Pulling and pulling the chin. “Heron” is what this exercise is called for simplicity. Performed sitting or standing. You need to stretch your chin as far forward as you can, feeling the muscles of the neck, stay in position for a couple of seconds, return to the starting position. 3-4 approaches are performed 6-8 times each. The same number of repetitions is performed in the opposite direction – sipping the back of the head. Do not forget about proper breathing, all movements are slow and smooth.

Study of neighboring muscle groups (back, arms)

✎ The exercise is performed standing or sitting. It looks like you are shrugging your shoulders in response. Sometimes instructors call him “I do not know.” Gently raise your shoulders as high as possible, reaching the highest position, freeze. Lower your shoulders as low as possible, feel how the weight of your hands pulls them down. Repeat at least 10 times. There is a study of the places of muscle attachment to the vertebrae of the neck, improved posture.

✎ Raising straight arms with dumbbells to shoulder level. It is carried out both sideways and forward. Use light weights, weighing up to 1,5 kg. It is most effective to raise your hands forward and to the sides alternately, for one approach 16-20 repetitions are performed. The number of approaches should be regulated according to well-being, three will be enough for the result.

Improved well-being will be helped by facilitated yoga classes, hiking in the pool.

IMPORTANT! It is forbidden to do exercises through pain. The appearance of severe discomfort in the neck means only one thing – you need to stop the exercise.

Useful articles and books exist for an in-depth understanding of the problem of osteochondrosis. Having studied them, the patient will not recover sharply. It is much easier to deal with neck pain when you are knowledgeable.

✒ Osteochondrosis is not a sentence. S. Bubnovsky. A useful guide from an eminent specialist in this field. The approaches to treatment, methods of selecting loads are described in detail.

✒ Cervical osteochondrosis – Velikanov II, Proskurnin G.K. The book is more suitable for
training of doctors, but written in a language understandable to the average man. Includes a description of all possible methods of treatment of osteochondrosis, including reflexology, alternative methods.

✒ We are treated at home. Osteochondrosis and joint diseases – L. Nikolaychuk. A full benefit for the patient. Describes exercises, diets, lifestyle tips that will minimize the progression of the disease.

Respect for your body, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and controlling excess weight are effective methods of preventing chronic diseases of the spine. Be healthy!

Video with exercise therapy for cervical osteochondrosis

Exercise therapy for cervical osteochondrosis: 16 effective exercises, training rules

Osteochondrosis of the spine can cause a lot of trouble. Independently improve physical and emotional well-being, protect the body from the occurrence of exacerbations of the disease in the future will help exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Regular gymnastics reduces the risk of repeated exacerbations, reduces chronic pain in the neck and shoulders, restores sensitivity and strength in the hands, trains the vestibular apparatus (which reduces dizziness and headache).

It is better to start exercise therapy under the supervision of an instructor, so that he will teach you how to perform all the exercises correctly. In general, the gymnastic complex, which includes blocks of isometric (without moving parts of the body in space) and dynamic activity, is simple to perform, and everyone can do gymnastics at home.

Further in the article – popular and safe complexes of 6 isometric and 10 dynamic exercises.

Every patient with cervical osteochondrosis involved in exercise therapy should know this.

Physical therapy for cervical osteochondrosis should not be carried out with an exacerbation of the disease. No need to try to “stretch” the neck, “disperse” the pain, somehow affect your condition. If you feel worse – immediately contact a neurologist!

If a doctor (neurologist) determined the instability of the cervical vertebrae during radiography of the spine or palpation, be sure to look into the orthopedic salon or pharmacy and purchase a special soft collar for the neck. It will protect you from dangerous complications when doing exercises.

Osteophytes – subulate bone growths visible on the X-ray of the spine – another reason to more carefully consider the choice of exercises for exercise therapy. With osteophytes, active movements in the cervical spine during dynamic training should not be performed, otherwise you risk osteophytes damaging the nerve trunks passing in the neck.

Six isometric exercises

With isometric gymnastics, the trained area of ​​the body does not move in space: that is, there are no bends, turns, or swings here.

You or your partner exert pressure on any part of the body, and with the help of muscle forces counteract this pressure. The number of repetitions of the exercise of this complex of exercise therapy for cervical osteochondrosis depends on the degree of your preparedness: it can be 3-4 repetitions on each side, and 6-8. The duration of counteracting the applied force during each repetition is 5-6 seconds.

The starting position in all exercises is lower – sitting exactly on a chair, legs shoulder-width apart.

With the palm of your hand, press on the temple area and cheekbones on one side (left palm is left cheek, right palm is right cheek).

Tighten the neck muscles, resisting the arm.

Repeat on the other side.

Grab your fingers into the lock. In this position, press on the forehead with the palms extended towards it.

Tightening your neck, resist the pressure.

Place your hands closed under the chin into fists, and push the chin in the direction from the bottom up.

Without moving your head in space, do a counteraction.

Grab your fingers behind your head into the lock. In this position, press on the occipital-parietal region with your hands, as if trying to lower your head to the chest, and create a reaction with your head.

Place your right hand with your open palm in the area of ​​your left cheek and cheekbone. Press on your face as if trying to turn it to the right. Create resistance with the muscles of the neck.

Repeat the exercise for the opposite side.

Lower your head to your chest and cross your arms at the back of your head. Press with your hands on the back of the head, and with the forces of the muscles of the neck, resist in such a way as to slowly return the head to an upright position.

Ten exercises of a dynamic complex

Important rules

When performing this type of physiotherapy exercises, it is important not to overdo it:

  • You cannot make full head turns around / counterclockwise.
  • The maximum tipping back of the head is fraught with deterioration, therefore, is contraindicated.
  • The movements should not be sharp, jerky: do everything slowly, slowly.
  • Since osteochondrosis of the spine is often accompanied by instability of the posture, dizziness, physiotherapy exercises for cervical osteochondrosis should be carried out in a sitting position.
  • The number of repetitions is 5–8.


(if the table is not fully visible – scroll to the right)

1. Sit with a straight back on a chair, legs slightly apart. Stretch your arms in front of you with your hands.

Squeeze your hands into fists – unclench them. Do the exercise several times, then shake your hands.

2. Sit on a chair, legs in front of you shoulder-width apart, hands on your knees.

Raise your straightened arm to the side parallel to the floor. Without sharp movements, rotate the body with the hand in one direction, with the other hand in the other direction (left hand – turn the body to the left, right – to the right).

3. Sit on a chair, legs bent at the knees apart, place your hands at the waist.

Tilt your head left and right, as if trying to reach your corresponding shoulder with your ear.

4. Sitting position on a chair. Bend your arms at the elbows to the maximum (hands on the shoulders).

Through the sides, raise your bent arms to a position parallel to the floor and lower back.

5. Sitting, rest your hands in the seat of the chair on the sides of the body.

In this position, perform circles with the shoulder girdle first, first, and then counterclockwise.

6. Sitting position.

With a small amplitude, turn your head left and right (as if looking to the left, then to the right).

7. In the sitting position, clasp your hands in front of you in the lock.

Raise your arms up to head level in this position, then lower them down.

8. Sitting position, hands on a chair seat.

Tilt your head to your chest – return to an upright position.

9. Continue to sit on the chair. The arms are extended down along the torso.

Bend your arms at the elbows, performing a sliding motion along the body with your palms up towards the armpits. In the same sliding motion, return your hands to their original position.

10. Sit on a chair. Hands at the seams.

Raise your extended left hand in front of you no higher than to shoulder level. Palm down.

At the same time, straighten your right hand back (palm up). Repeat for the other hand.


Of course, physical therapy is not a panacea, and to help with spinal osteochondrosis as effective as possible, a whole range of measures is needed, including medications, manual therapy, and physiotherapy.

But exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine does not require special equipment and even significant space in the room, you can perform many exercises even at the workplace. And this is a great opportunity for each patient to help themselves. Regular physical therapy exercises have a beneficial effect not only on the course of the disease and the symptoms of the disease, but also on the mood, relieving patients of feelings of depression, spleen, fatigue, and even depressive disorders.

Lfk – it’s great! Therapeutic exercises for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis is a very common disease today, significantly worsening the quality of life. Many factors can lead to it, the symptoms are also diverse, and most often the disease is determined when the intervertebral discs are already beginning to actively collapse. Most often, the cervical and lumbar regions are affected. Despite the fact that the disease is chronic, there are a large number of measures that can extremely positively affect the patient’s condition. One of the most common is the neck exercises against osteochondrosis, which can be performed at home. The main thing is to do everything according to the rules and adhere to all the recommendations of a specialist.

Exercises for cervical osteochondrosis at home: general rules

Like any other method of therapy, exercises for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine also have their own characteristics, limitations and contraindications, which must be taken into account. It all comes down to the following rules:

  • You cannot prescribe treatment yourself – a doctor should prescribe it. The fact is that the symptoms characteristic of osteochondrosis can be signs of other diseases in which physical activity can be harmful. Both the diagnosis and the choice of treatment methods are the task of a specialist.
  • It is necessary to take into account the presence of concomitant diseases in which a ban on physical activity is possible.
  • Gymnastics for the neck with osteochondrosis is contraindicated in the acute period of the disease. Osteochondrosis passes cyclically and involves the alternation of phases of remission and exacerbation. In the acute period, therapy should be aimed at promptly eliminating pain and discomfort, which can be very strong, and physical activity at this time can only worsen the patient’s condition. Gymnastics is also contraindicated in the terminal stages of osteochondrosis, in which the destruction of the bone tissue of the vertebrae occurs. Then you need surgical treatment.
  • Refrain from exercise if you feel unwell, you have a high fever, a cold, high blood pressure, and so on.
  • It is better to choose the same time for training (the best is morning), a place that is comfortable for you and comfortable clothes. The room is recommended to be well ventilated. Doing exercises is every day in the period of remission.
  • It is recommended to eat an hour before >

In addition to these rules, a specialist can give additional recommendations that need to be considered. A set of exercises is selected individually depending on the medical history and severity of the disease.

Gymnastics for cervical osteochondrosis at home: benefits and effectiveness

Physiotherapy exercises for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is an important part of the comprehensive treatment of the disease. Regular classes give the following positive results:

  • Strengthening muscle tissue (both superficial and deep layers of muscles), the formation of a strong muscle corset that holds the spinal column in the correct position.
  • Elimination of stagnation in tissues, elimination of excess tissue flu >

In general, therapeutic exercises for cervical osteochondrosis has a beneficial effect on the patient’s condition, increases the fitness of the body, makes it stable against adverse factors. After 1-2 months of training, the mood rises, physical inactivity disappears, and the patient’s general well-being improves.

Cervical osteochondrosis: exercises

It is worth considering that gymnastics with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine can include a large number of elements, and there are no universal elements among them. The complex should be selected by the doctor – this is important. Classes are held every day and last for 15-20 minutes. In the absence of pain and positive dynamics, the duration and intensity of classes gradually increases.

The first gymnastics complex for cervical osteochondrosis is used at the stage of remission in the chronic and acute form of osteochondrosis. It includes three exercises:

  • head turns;
  • slopes;
  • pulling the head back.

For all exercises, the starting position is the same. Sitting or standing, the patient performs the elements, keeping his back straight and with his arms along the body. With the first element, turns are made smoothly left and right. The chin should be above the shoulder. If pain occurs, reduce the amplitude of the turns. The element is repeated 5-10 times.

The next element is tilting the head down. Performing them, you need to touch the notch of the chest with the chin. It is important to completely relax the back muscles of the neck. If you do everything right, the state of the muscles will improve and the flexibility of the vertebrae will increase. In the next exercise, the neck is pulled back, as if the chin is pulled in, and the back is flat. Exercises are repeated 5-10 times.

The following complex is used for chronic cervical osteochondrosis. The patient needs to put his hand to his forehead and tilt his head forward, while resisting with his hand. The exercise is repeated 10 times with a duration of exposure of 10 seconds.

Next, a similar action is performed, but the effect is now performed from the sides. The number of repetitions is similar. You can also pull your shoulders to your ears, locking in for 10-15 minutes. The number of repetitions is 5-10.

These exercises from osteochondrosis of the cervical spine can also be carried out for the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis. For treatment, you can use more complex techniques, but after the permission of the doctor.

Exercises for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis can both be included in the complex, or performed separately. This will make it possible to choose an individual program that is most effective for the patient. Consider the exercises that you can use:

  • You need to lie on the floor, place one hand on the chest, the other on the stomach. Exercise is quite simple and aimed at maximum muscle relaxation. Now a series of smooth inhalations and exhalations is done, 3-4 times in total.
  • In the following case, you need to lie on your stomach and gently lift the torso with your head, resting on your hands. In this position, you need to stay for about a minute, and then gradually return to the original. It is important that the shoulders do not fall out. The number of repetitions is 3-4 per day.
  • The next exercise is also done while lying down. Place your hands along the body. Perform head turns to the sides. After completing the action, cuddle against the floor. Do 3-4 sets and 5-6 reps. Pain during the exercise is not allowed.

Therapeutic exercises for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine should suggest a gradual increase in load. It is acceptable if the patient’s condition improves. Of the exercises of increased complexity that can be used to treat osteochondrosis are twisting, swapping, and relaxing elements.

Next, you need to move on to the relaxing elements. You need to stand up straight, lower your arms, place them along the body. Tighten your hands and hold in this position for 30 seconds. The back should be straightened, lower the shoulder blades and shoulders. In the end, you need to relax the involved parts as much as possible.

After preparation, proceed to twisting. While standing, lower the back of the head. In this position, twisting and rotation of the head are performed. Finish the exercise with the chin on your chest, then rotate the other way. Continue to exercise until pleasant warmth appears.

Useful for the treatment of osteochondrosis with the hands of the hand. Lean forward so that the body is parallel to the floor surface, be sure to take your arms to the sides. Shoulder blades move to the spine, while doing the swing of the hands a little back.

Neck treatment for osteochondrosis should be neat and thoughtful. The therapy is aimed not at obtaining maximum load, but at maintaining motor activity in order to improve the condition of the cervical spine. Different complexes are used for osteochondrosis and its symptoms, and it is important to choose the set of exercises that will take into account the individual condition of the patient. A good way to improve the spine and joints is the isometric gymnastics of Dr. Borschenko, about which there is already a review article on our website.

In the video you can see what gymnastics can be with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles

Initial positionAn exercise