Cervical rotational stretch
To maintain or improve range of motion and stretch tight tissue over the neck and shoulder.
To stretch tight tissue over your neck and shoulder.
Position the patient in sitting with good posture. Instruct the patient to rotate their head to the side with their contralateral shoulder lowered. The patient might need to adjust their position to find the maximal area of stretch by side flexing, extending or flexing their neck or a combination of all. This will be individual to each patient and their area of tightness.
Position yourself in sitting with good posture. Turn your head to the side with your opposite shoulder lowered. You might need to adjust your position to find the maximal area of stretch by tilting, extending or turning your neck or a combination of all as instructed by your physiotherapist.
Progressions and variations
- Increase the stretch by turning your head further.
- Use your hand to assist the stretch.
When you should do neck stretching
While it’s normal for neck concerns to develop, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent or help them. One of those is to improve your posture. The easiest way is to work on improving your posture and avoid slouching or letting your head fall forward is making a habit of checking in with your posture at all times throughout the day.
Something else you can do to improve your posture is to not sit for long periods of time. If you have to sit for long periods, get up and move around for at least 5 minutes every hour. Do a few stretches or a bit of walking during this time.
Another cause of bad posture is a computer screen that’s not at eye level. Use a tray or table to change or to raise the position of your computer or workspace if you’re doing something that requires you to look down for long periods.
The last tip we have for you is to adjust your sleeping position. To maintain a neutral head position, sleep on your side or your back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Use a pillow that allows your head and neck to rest in a straight position.
Bonus: A strong neck can help prevent problems with your shoulders, upper back, and arms, too.
If you already have pain in your neck or elsewhere, talk to your therapist before you start. You will feel some tension in your neck muscles when you stretch. But you shouldn’t have pain. If you do, stop right away.