Ten best stretches and exercises for a herniated cervical disc. so let’s get started. Check out”10 Safe Exercises for Cervical Herniated Disc You Can Do at Home”.
So the first stretch is kind of a stretch and an exercise and that’s gonna be a chin tuck. They help if you have a disc issue in your neck, but they also help just kind of recorrecting your posture. So they’re really easy to do. You can do them almost anywhere. So a chin tuck is not tucking it down like this, but you’re tucking your chin in. You’re trying to get that neck into a normal position. I like to sometimes just use my finger as a target. I’m gonna keep my finger here, and I’m gonna try and bring my chin away from it. Taking my head and moving it backward.
And then just holding it for about three to five seconds and then relaxing. There’s a little bit of space in between your finger and that means that it just gives you good visual feedback that you’re actually resetting those muscles, getting you back into that position.
You don’t have to put your finger there, you can just pull that chin in and you can see it kind of flattens out it gives me a bunch of little Chins right there, and then again holding that for three to five seconds and then coming back. Sometimes this is a little hard for people if they’ve got some stiffness in their neck. Or even if they have that disk issue in their neck, but just work on it a little bit. And the more you do it the more you’ll actually be able to get that head actually going back. But keep that chin in that neutral position, so it’s not tucking in like that, or tucking in like that. You’re really just bringing it straight back and then letting those muscles kind of relax once you let it go.
The next one is going to be isometric exercises for your neck. And isometric exercises are really you’re activating the muscle, but you’re not really loving it. It does a good job of kind of getting some stiffness out of the muscles, starting to get some strength in the muscles. But you’re not doing the big movements that might still hurt your neck at the time. What you’re gonna do is we’re gonna start off with what would be a side bend, but again I’m not actually moving into that side bend.
I’m gonna place my hand on my head and then push into and you should see my muscles here activating a little bit. And just again a three to five-second hold and then relax. I’m not pushing as hard as I can,
especially the first couple times I do these isometrics. I’m doing maybe twenty to thirty percent of my push, and then later on the next day if that’s not sore.
Then I can push forty to fifty and then 60 you know in the 70 and so it forth. But make sure you’re doing both sides. Then this is the movement I would do and then I’m pushing in three to five seconds and then relaxing. Do five on each side, you can alternate back and forth if you want, or you can just do them all on one side. And then do all on the other side, but make sure you’re doing both sides.
The next isometric one is turning your head from the side to side. And that would be what we would call rotation. Again I’m just placing my hand here. I would be turning into my hand, then again I’m pushing, but now I’m getting the rotational movement. You can probably see a little bit of those muscles activating that three to five seconds, then my hand on the other side and then I’m turning in that way. I like to alternate back and forth, but you can do them all on one side if you want to.
The next one is going to be to get some neck or cervical extension. When we have a disc issue, a lot of times. If you can give that extension movement at the right level, you’re gonna actually kind of push that disc back in a little bit. Using a towel to kind of stabilize the bottom part, you can move the top part actually does a really good job. I’m gonna put the towel you know around this one level, and then it’s staying and then I’m gonna move my head back into that extension. You’re probably not going to be exact to start off with, so sometimes I say just move it up a little bit each time. But what I’m gonna do is I’m taking this towel and I’m pulling it forward this way to help kind of stabilize the bottom part of the spine.
I’m pushing or pulling forward and then I’m just going to look back and up going into that extension. Doing that motion at the same time while I’m pushing forward so I’m stabilizing that bottom segment and moving that top one. You can go at each level of your spine and just do maybe five to ten of those at each one. And that really helps kind of loosen everything up. It’s a really nice way to get some movement in there. Now we want to stretch out all the muscles around our neck, so we got some big muscles in the back, we’ve got some little smaller muscles up in the front.
Upper Trap Stretch
Let’s start off with an upper trap stretch and that’s that big top of the triangle muscle in the back of your neck. A lot of times when it’s tight, it’s putting a lot of pressure on your cervical spine in that neck area, and pushing on that disc. When you’re gonna stretch your upper trap, I like kind of sitting on my hand of the side that I want to stretch. And what that does is that just keeps that shoulder down. You don’t have to sit on it, but I feel like you’re gonna get a better stretch. Then all you’re gonna do is take your other hand and pull your head gently towards the opposite side. Like I’m trying to take that ear to the other shoulder but keep the shoulder down.
Don’t bring it up, but just gently pull over this way. You should feel that stretch right in through here. Nice gentle stretch just holding that stretch. Since this is a full stretch you want to hold it for 30 seconds and then switch sides. Sitting here pulling it over gently getting that stretch and doing three on each side. Again I like to alternate back and forth just because that makes it where you can give each side just a little bit of a break.
The next stretch is going to be for our levator SCAP. And that levator scapulae muscle is the one that kind of holds our shoulders that will elevate or lifts it. When we have a lot of stress and tension, that’s the muscle that really holds a lot of that tension, so it gets tight a lot. It comes all the way up into the neck. It could put a lot of pressure on that neck or that cervical area. This time the side that you want to stretch you’re going to put your hand up to where you’re trying to bring your elbow up towards the ceiling. Now sometimes people can’t do that, that’s okay. You can also just raise your arm up, but you don’t have to do that either. This is just now that’s pushing that shoulder blade or that scapula down to give you a better stretch.
You don’t have to do that, I just feel like you’re gonna get a better stretch. I’m gonna bring this side up of the side that I want to stretch, and then I’m gonna take my other hand and put it behind my head. I’m gonna pull down at an angle about a 45-degree angle towards my opposite knee. I want my nose to point towards my opposite knee when I’m going down. I’m stretching this way. It’s not stretching to the side, it’s not stretching forward, is stretching at that angle to really get that stretch right through back there, that’s you should feel that stretch. Again this is a full thirty-second hold, and you want to do three on each side.
Anterior Scalene Muscles
The next stretch is going to be for your anterior scalene muscles. These are the ones in the front here. The way to stretch those is to take your opposite hand and kind of push down on your collarbone. And that just again kind of helps stabilize everything. Then you’re going to turn towards the side that you want to stretch and look up towards the ceiling. You can see right here, that’s where I’m getting all those stretch of those scalene muscles right there. and so again you’re holding that for thirty Seconds and doing three on each side. so really getting it nice and stretched out. so then we’re going to go into some exercises where we are getting some movement.
The next one is just gonna be scapular squeezes. Our scapula or scapular has more than 20 muscles attached to them, and a lot of them go up into our neck. That’s why it’s important to get those moving, get everything moving in the right place. For a scapular squeeze, you want to almost imagine that somebody’s hand is on your spine, and you’re just gonna squeeze those shoulder blades back. Now you can use your elbows to kind of guide your shoulder blades going back, but don’t just use your elbows.
See I’m just using my elbows I’m not actually getting that squeeze, but sometimes when you first start doing it, you can get a better squeeze. If you use your elbows, but you don’t have to. You can do squeeze them back this way, but try and keep your shoulders down when you’re squeezing. You’re not coming up like this, but you’re squeezing down and back. Hold it for about three to five seconds and then do ten of those a couple of times throughout the day. That’s really going to kind of help reset that and get some strengthening in there as well.
The next one is going to be lying down. At the side that you want to work is going to be up on top. This one if you can, you’re going to lie down and put your arm just kind of out so you can rest your head on it, so your head stays in a neutral position. All I’m gonna do is just lift my head up to the side and come back down.
I’m working these muscles on the side, but I’m supporting it in a neutral position and then bringing it up. I am trying to keep everything straight forward here. I am not looking up like this, I’m not coming like this, but I’m really almost just trying to bring that ear towards my shoulder. This one you can do ten, ten to fifteen, couple sets, a couple of times throughout the day but make sure you’re switching the sides.
You can get some extension is to get it on all fours or in quadruped, and you’re gonna just put your head in a neutral position here. Then you’re gonna lift up into extension and then come all the way down. You’re getting that pull motion and then coming back up and again. If you’ve got a disc issue you might not be able to come all the way up without some pain, so make sure it’s a pain-free motion. You can only come up to about right there, that’s okay, but each time try and go a little bit more as long as it’s in a comfortable position.
The last one is just gonna be a cat-dog because again you want to kind of get that upper back as well as that cervical area. It always feels really good. The cat stretch you’re going to arch your back up and tuck in your chin. Just like when a cat is stretching you’re coming up like this. Just hold it for about three to five seconds and then drop down into the dog or some people call it a cow. Then lift your head up again. Again you want it to be in pain-free motion. If that’s uncomfortable, you can bring your head down just a little bit and just alternate back and forth, maybe five times each way, holding it three to five seconds.