Range of motion (ROM) exercises entail moving your neck through its full range in the different isolated components, i.e.: bend your neck left as far as it will go without rotating the head. Repeat to the other side.
Now bend your neck forward as far as it will go (hold for a few seconds). Then put your head back as far as it will go making sure you do not rotate it. (If at any time you feel dizzy or faint headed do not do the extension component of this exercise.
Following this, twist or rotate your neck fully to the left and hold for a few seconds. Then repeat to the right. Do these exercises a number of times a day starting in a hot shower in the morning.
Lie on your back pushing the back of your chin down into the floor while lifting the back of your head (scoop your head) and hold for some seconds. Do this exercise three times.
Lying flat on the floor lengthen your spine by pushing the shoulders down and lengthening the neck. Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat the exercise a few times.
Using a rolled towel on the back of the neck, pull the towel forward while pushing your head back against the towel.
A variation is to lie flat on your back with the rolled towel under your neck and leave it there for 5 to 10 minutes.
Resistance exercises will begin to strengthen the damaged muscles and aid in the restoration of the normal neck curve which is vital if you want any long-term resolution of your whiplash. Remember, start slow doing a few each day and build up as your neck gets stronger.
- Place your hands behind your head and push back into them. Hold the contraction for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat up to 25 times.
- Place the flat hand on the side of your head. Without allowing your head to move push against the hand and hold for a few seconds. Repeat up to 25 times.
Remember, start slow and conservatively and build up the pressure and repetitions.
An alternative method is to use a child’s inflatable rubber ball placed at head height against the wall and held there by the head. The patient then performs his/her exercises by pushing against the ball.
If you are unsure about any aspect of your condition or treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Michael Rees DC at First Chiropractic.