This exercise is intended to facilitate neck extension (looking up towards the ceiling) by using a strap or something similar. The strap supports your neck and helps you to move farther without discomfort. The lower part of our neck is often hypomobile (very stiff), so this exercise is perfect for addressing this problem. The one catch is that it should be performed regularly! In most cases, our neck becomes stiff over a long period of time. Doing this one or two times, or going to a clinic for a few treatments, is not going to cause permanent change. I usually ask people to perform the repeated neck extension exercise very regularly, but the exact parameters depend on your case.
What you should feel
All you are doing is extending your neck over top of the strap as far as you can before it stops. At the end of the range of motion, you may feel some pressure or restriction in the neck but there should be no pain. In some cases this feels really good to do. In other cases it doesn’t feel like much at all, except for at the very end of the movement. As you repeat this movement, it should become easier to perform. It should also become easier to perform without the strap, but this takes some time.
Stop this exercise if you are unsure about what you are feeling or if it is painful in an unexpected way.
Repeated Neck Extension
Here are the instructions and there is a video below that explains it all:
- You’ll need a strap that is about 1-inch wide. Try not to get anything wider. A rolled up towel will even work… but you just need to make sure it isn’t rolled up too thick.
- Find the C7 and T1 vertebrae.. don’t worry, it isn’t too hard.
- Using a hand, press on the middle of your spine along the back of your neck, starting close to the base of your skull.
- As you go lower down you will feel 2 prominent bumps / bones stick out. The first one is C7 and the second is T1.
- The strap needs to be placed over these bumps!
- Hold on to either end of the strap with both arms and create some tension on the strap.
- Look up and over the strap. The over part implies that you are bending over the strap in an “arc-like” motion rather than just kinking your neck from one spot. This will help you go farther and it will feel better!
mdkPHYSIO provides specific parameters to all patients.