As we grow older our joints show the signs of wear and tear which causes pain. This common old age health condition is called as arthritis.
Neck arthritis (also known as cervical osteoarthritis or cervical spondylosis) is one of the most popular musculoskeletal problems which is effecting growing number of people all around the world.
Studies showed that more than 85 percent of Americans after the age of 60 show the signs of neck arthritis. It can affect various body parts such as knees, hands, feet and even neck & shoulders.
Although there are many remedial measures available for relieving the pain and stiffness caused due to arthritis in the neck, not many of these are highly effective in treating the problem permanently.
Studies reveal that neck exercises for arthritis is the only sure shot way to relieve the problem in a much better way.
However these exercises should be done on regular basis (as recommended by the doctor) to achieve the goal.
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Physiotherapy Treatment for Arthritis Neck Pain: How It Helps?
As such there are many different treatment options for your arthritis neck pain problem; these are like medicines, exercises, yoga, etc. Physiotherapy treatment method is one of the best of its kind and can help you greatly in case if you are suffering from severe neck or shoulder pain.
Physical therapy or physiotherapy for neck pain is a simple technique that perfectly blends physiology and exercise. Its implementation on our body provides a great relief to the body by addressing illness or injuries that limits the ability of body to move or perform day to day activities.
Physical therapy exercises for neck pain mainly focuses on the muscles, spine, joints, and bones that are connected to the neck. This is one of the most popular form of treatment methods that is taken into consideration by the doctors to get permanent relief from such pain.
A physical therapy includes exercises to help strengthen your muscles that support your neck. Besides, it also help you know about how to walk and sit straight in the right posture.
Your physiotherapist may make you stand in front of a mirror to teach you the right postures so that you can learn from your mistakes. You can implement the techniques and make it a habit to avoid any further problems related to neck or back pain caused due to bad posture.
The ultimate goal of a physical therapy is to educate each patient with techniques on stretching and strengthening their muscles and bones. Besides physiotherapy exercises for neck pain, many physiotherapist also make use of cervical traction to provide permanent relief from the neck pain.
Traction is generally used to open up the spaces between the cervical vertebrate by infusing pressure on the affected discs. Traction method can be implemented continuously in case of severe pain or can be done at short intervals. This method provides long term relief from stiff neck pain.
5 Best Physiotherapy Exercises for Treating Neck Arthritis Pain
By visiting your doctor or physiotherapist you can learn about the best physiotherapy exercises for neck pain that can be done at home for relieving the neck arthritis, swelling and inflammation.
Make a note that you perform these exercises for neck arthritis gently and smoothly, as sudden movements or jerks can make the conditions worse. Some of the best exercises for arthritis in neck are as follows:
1. Simple Neck Stretching
Neck stretching can be done by dropping and raising your neck slowly and steadily. Stand still or sit on chair for performing this exercise. Now slowly try to drop your head in the forward direction to touch the chin and chest.
Remain in this position for 5-10 seconds and take your head back to the normal position. Now bend your head backwards to see the roof. Remain in the position for 5-10 seconds and then get back to normal position. You can repeat these simple stretches five times to make your muscles flexible and tension free.
2. Neck Rotation
While performing this exercise keep the whole body relax with the spine erect. You can sit on a chair or stand erect with good posture. Now turn your head to the right while keeping your chin straight.
Remain in the position for 5-10 seconds and return to normal. Then rotate the neck to the left side keeping your chin still. After remaining in this position for about 5-10 seconds return to normal position. You can repeat this exercise five times in each side.
3. Static Neck Exercises
One of the best exercises for arthritis in the neck is the static neck exercise. These static neck exercises not only help the person to relieve the pain that arise due to neck rheumatoid arthritis but also it helps in strengthening their neck muscles. The static exercise can be done in all the directions of the neck including side bending and tilting.
The person need to bend the neck forward (or side ways) and at the same time should exert heavy pressure with the help of hand against the forward bending of the neck. By doing exercise in such a way the head is kept static at the same place without any further movement except the jerky vibrations.
Other movements can also be exhibited while performing these isometric neck exercises so that other muscles present around the neck region get the benefits.
4. Shoulder Rolls
Shoulders are the most important body parts to care for when you are focusing on your neck region. As shoulders support your neck muscles, exercising your shoulders means stronger shoulder muscles and hence stronger neck. Shoulder rolls are one of the most basic and easiest exercises that can be performed for relieving the neck rheumatoid arthritis pain.
For performing this exercise you need to sit on a chair or stand straight with your feet apart at some distance. Now roll your shoulders smoothly in the up, back and down in only one direction. Repeat the exercise for five times and wait for few seconds. Now roll your shoulders in the reverse direction i.e. in up, forward and down direction. Try this also for five times.
5. Shoulder Shrugs
Shoulder shrugs are one of the best exercises for strengthening the muscles that are present around your neck. In addition to relieving the neck arthritis pain these exercises helps in reducing the dizziness along with treating the vertigo symptoms.
For performing this exercise you need to stand straight with slightly bent knees and arms present at your sides. Now lift your shoulders to the height of your neck to hold them at the highest point possible for five seconds. Now slowly bring down your shoulders to normal. You can repeat this exercise for about 20 times.
Neck Arthritis Exercises Video
In the below video you can find few simple to do exercises at home that can help in relieving arthritis of neck and shoulders.
Neck Arthritis Exercises To Avoid
People suffering from arthritis often think that most of the exercises that involves neck and back motion will be helpful for them. However the truth is bit different.
Studies showed that there are many neck exercises that should be completely avoided so that you do not make your neck and back worse. Doing these exercises do not help your pain and will only exacerbate the condition to make the it even worse:
- Leg lifts
- Flutter kicks
- Heavy weight lifting
- Twisting/turning neck in circles
Just performing the above mentioned important exercises daily (and avoiding the given ones) can easily eliminate the neck arthritis pain and stiffness slowly in just six to eight weeks.
As a starter you may feel discomfort while performing these neck exercises for stiff neck. You can therefore try one or two repetitions of each of these exercises to begin. As you improve and get used to the exercise movements you can increase the number of reps.
Care that you do not feel the increase in neck pain while performing these exercises for arthritis in neck. If in case it hurts, you should stop the exercises and consult your doctor or physiotherapist at the earliest.
Overall, physiotherapy treatment method for neck pain is one of the best treatment method for relieving your stiff neck. Your physiotherapist can come to your house for few days to teach you the exercises and techniques for relieving long term stiffness
of your neck. However it is ultimately you who have to continue using it for getting long term benefits.
Truly speaking, you can get permanent relief from your neck pain problem only when you exercise daily and make it a habit to work in the right posture.
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