The spinal column or spine progressively deteriorates as people grow older. This is partly due to the fact that it keeps many body parts in position. For instance, the weight of our heads is held by the cervical vertebrae. Many people feel that deterioration advances when arthritis reaches the bones of the neck. Signs of this condition are: pain, headaches, discomfort, stiffness and unbalanced positions.
Research has shown that practicing mild exercises delivers support to relieve discomfort. Some studies indicate that firming up (strengthening) of neck muscles through exercise renders better results than elongating (stretching) the neck. Today, it is known that the combination of both exercises seems to work best to reduce neck pain.
Stretching exercises can maintain flexibility in the neck and reduce the rigidness that usually gives rise to neck pain. These type of exercises can be practiced every day.
An example of a routine to strengthen the neck involves keeping a straight cervical posture with the neck also straight. You can sit on an upright position and place the back of your head straight also. Lean forward maintaining the neck, back and head upright and when done, return to the starting site. Repeat turning the neck to the right and left, successively. Do this strengthening exercise several times a day with one day rest in between to allow the muscles a rest period and to get ready for the next session. Consult your doctor or caregiver for the best advice.
Additionally, aerobic exercises or “cardio” are great to improve blood circulation which in turn can develop flexibility in neck muscles. Also, they release endorphins which helps reduce neck pain and in fact makes you feel good. That happy, cheerful feeling after a workout are the endorphins at work which are continually being released for hours even after exercise has ended.