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Neck Rotation Stretch

Exercise for Seniors

What this exercise does.

Stretches neck muscles.

How this exercise helps you.

Stiffness and pain in the neck can affect your neck's range of motion. This can contribute to many unpleasant conditions, including fatigue, irritability and sleep loss.

Exercise Instructions

1. Lie on the floor with a phone book or other thick book under your head.

2. Slowly turn head from side to side, holding position each time for 10 to 30 seconds on each side. Your head should not be tipped forward or backward, but should be in a comfortable position. You can keep your knees bent to keep your back comfortable during this exercise.

3. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Neck Rotation Stretch 1
Neck Rotation Stretch 2

More Safe Moves for Your Neck

The following exercises are gently, but will help increase your range of motion in the neck area.

Sitting Neck Rotations: Sitting tall in a chair, feet on the floor and keeping your head level, gradually turn your head to the right as far as you comfortably can (don't strain!). Hold for 10 seconds. Slowly turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder and hold another 10 seconds. Repeat five times.

Neck Tilts: Tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear as close to your shoulder as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Do the same on the other side, tilting your head to the left, again holding for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.

Neck Flexion and Extension: Beginning in a neutral position, gradually bend your head forward, letting it hang with your chin close to your chest; hold for 10 seconds. Slowly bring your head up and back so that you are looking at the ceiling. Repeat five times.

Half Circles: Start by tilting your head toward your right shoulder as far as possible, then slowly swing it to the left in a fluid half circle, moving your head forward and down until your chin is close to your chest, continuing until your head is tilted to the left with your left ear above your left shoulder. Then repeat the movement in the other direction. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

The above exercises can help with simple tasks such as the need to look over your shoulder when driving your car.

Stretching Success

While stretching you should feel some slight discomfort, if you don't feel anything, then you may be doing the stretch incorrectly, or simply the muscle has eased off. Stop immediately if you feel any severe pain. Remember to breathe regularly and rhythmically, do not hold your breath.

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