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Take Care Of Your Cervical Spine
Apr 2016
Dr Rozina Farishta
ApolloLife Center, Hyderabad

The cervical spine (neck) is at risk of many injuries and trauma due to its delicate structure and alignment. It starts from the base of the skull and is a series of seven vertebrae which connects to the thoracic spine. Some conditions that affect the cervical spine includes cervical degenerative disease, cervical stenosis, cervical disc bulge, neck strain and stiffness.

Causes

  • Poor postural alignment like head forward, repetitive leaning forward, hunched shoulders, long hours spent in stressful positions like using a computer, reading in bed, poor sitting postures and sleeping positions may lead to neck pain.
  • Sports related injuries, motor vehicle accidents (whiplash injury) or a fall can cause neck pain.
  • Wear and tear and changes in the discs and joints with age may lead to neck pain and poor posture.

Management With Physiotherapy

  • Physiotherapy plays an important role by effectively reducing cervical pain.
  • Initial treatment involves rest and application of an ice pack or heat pack for about 10-15 minutes to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation.
  • Electro modalities like IFT and ultrasound are helpful in reducing pain.
  • Exercises can be started gently and increased gradually.

Exercises To Abate Pain

Mobility Exercises

Flexion And Extension
Sit in an upright position bending head downwards i.e. pulling chin closer to chest and lifting head upwards until you are looking at the ceiling.

Rotation
Sit in an upright position and turn head to one side. Now repeat with the other side.

Side Flexion
Sit in an upright position and tilt the head towards one shoulder until you feel a stretch. Then repeat it on the other side.