Neck Spasm: Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Levator scapula stretch

Picture of how to do levator scapula stretch
slide 1 of 5
slide 1 of 5, Levator scapula stretch,
  1. Sit in a firm chair, or stand up straight.
  2. Gently tilt your head toward your left shoulder.
  3. Turn your head to look down into your armpit, bending your head slightly forward. Let the weight of your head stretch your neck muscles.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return to your starting position.
  6. Follow the same instructions above, but tilt your head toward your right shoulder.
  7. Repeat 2 to 4 times toward each shoulder.

Upper trapezius stretch

Picture of how to do upper trapezius stretch
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slide 2 of 5, Upper trapezius stretch,
  1. Sit in a firm chair, or stand up straight.
  2. This stretch works best if you keep your shoulder down as you lean away from it. To help you remember to do this, start by relaxing your shoulders and lightly holding on to your thighs or your chair.
  3. Tilt your head toward your shoulder and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Let the weight of your head stretch your muscles.
  4. If you would like a little added stretch, place your arm behind your back. Use the arm opposite of the direction you are tilting your head. For example, if you are tilting your head to the left, place your right arm behind your back.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times toward each shoulder.

Neck rotation

Picture of how to do neck rotation
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slide 3 of 5, Neck rotation,
  1. Sit in a firm chair, or stand up straight.
  2. Keeping your chin level, turn your head to the right, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Turn your head to the left, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times to each side.

Chin tuck

Picture of how to do chin tuck
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slide 4 of 5, Chin tuck,
  1. Lie on the floor with a rolled-up towel under your neck. Your head should be touching the floor.
  2. Slowly bring your chin toward the front of your neck.
  3. Hold for a count of 6, and then relax for up to 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Forward neck flexion

Picture of how to do forward neck flexion
slide 5 of 5
slide 5 of 5, Forward neck flexion,
  1. Sit in a firm chair, or stand up straight.
  2. Bend your head forward.
  3. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter P962 in the search box to learn more about "Neck Spasm: Exercises."

Current as of: May 23, 2016