Exercises

  1. Neck exercises
  2. Low back exercises
  3. Shoulder range-of-movement exercises

 

1. Neck exercises

These Exercises should be carried out with you sitting in a relaxed but upright posture. Keep your eyes open, do all movements SLOWLY. If you experience any dizziness or excess pain, stop immediately and speak to your Osteopath.

(i) Head Turns

In a standing or seated position, keep your back straight and slowly turn your head towards your right shoulder…hold and then slowly turn the head towards the left. Repeat 5 times each way.

(ii) Bend to Side

In a standing or seated position, keep your back straight and slowly side bend your neck to the right…and then slowly to the left. Repeat 5times each way.

(iii) Shoulder Shrugs

Shrug both shoulders up to your ears; hold for two seconds, then slowly release, letting them drop right down, hold for two seconds. Repeat this five times.

(iv) Shoulder Rolls

Keeping your right elbow close to your side at all times, rotate your right shoulder joint slowly backwards. Repeat this five times and then repeat with the left shoulder five times.

(v) Neck Flexion and Levator scapulae stretch

Slowly drop your chin to your chest, hold for two seconds and return to neutral position. Turn your head approximately 10º to the right, drop your chin in this position to stretch the opposite side, and hold for two seconds, return to neutral position. Repeat to the left. Repeat this exercise slowly five times.

(vi) Mid-Thoracic articulation

Interlace fingers behind lowest part of neck (over the knobbly bit) elbows together. Slightly slouch, neck slightly bent forwards, with your elbows together draw a circle with them in a clockwise direction, taking the elbows slightly above the horizontal, then down towards the abdomen. Do this slowly 5 times, then repeat 5 times anti-clockwise.

 

2. Low back exercises

These exercises should be carried out with you lying on your back with a pillow under your neck and both knees bent. If these exercises cause any acute pain during or after the exercise, then stop and speak to your Osteopath. Do all exercises SLOWLY.

(i) Hugging individual knees to chest

Starting in the above mentioned position hold on to one knee with both hands and gently bring it up to your chest as far as it comfortably goes. Hold for two seconds. Return back to the held position where the arms are straight. Repeat five times. Repeat the exercise with the other leg five times.

(ii) Hugging both knees to chest

(a) Starting in the above mentioned position, hold your right knee with your right hand, left knee with your left hand, feet off the floor, separate your knees slightly and cross your ankles. In this position, gently bring both knees towards your chest as far as is comfortable. Hold for two seconds, return to the held position. Repeat 10-20 times.
(b) As (ii) (a) but pull both knees towards your right shoulder, hold for two seconds, return to the held position and repeat towards the left shoulder. Repeat 10 times.

(iii) Dropping both knees to one side

Start in the above mentioned position with knees bent. Cross the right knee over the left knee, stretch both arms out to either side in the crucifix position. Gently rock both knees over to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for 10 seconds. Take a breath in and as you breathe out, take the movement a little further to the left. Hold for a further 10 seconds and slowly return to the start position.

Then cross the left knee over the right knee and repeat to the right side. Repeat the whole exercise 2-3 times.

You can now repeat this exercise using straight legs.

(iv) Pelvic Tilts

Start in the above mentioned position with knees bent. The pelvis needs to tilt so that you flatten your lower back onto the floor (fill the gap) and feel like your pubic bone is being pulled up to the ceiling. Hold this for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 times.

(v) Buttock and Hip stretch

Start in the above mentioned position with both knees bent. Place your right heel on your left knee and let your right knee gently relax out to the right. Hold your right knee with your right hand and hold your right shin with your left hand. In that position pull your right lower leg up towards your left shoulder, only a small amount and slowly, you should feel a pull in your right buttock region. Hold for 5 seconds and release.

Repeat with the left leg and repeat exercise 2 times.

This is a strong exercise and your Osteopath should show you how to do this correctly.

(vi) Sit ups

Start in the above mentioned position with the knees bent. Imagine you have an orange tucked under your chin, to stop you from pulling your chin to your chest. Look at a spot on the ceiling and gently rest your fingertips on the back of your neck. Do not pull your neck but lift with your stomach muscle so your shoulder blades just come off the floor, hold for 2 seconds and slowly relax down again.

Repeat 5 times building up to a goal of 25.

(vii) Back strengthening exercise (a)

Lie on your stomach, lift the right leg straight from the hip, only 1″ off the ground and hold for 2 seconds then relax. Repeat with the left leg.

Do 10-15 lifts with each leg.

Back strengthening exercise (b)

Lie on your stomach arms straight out in front of you. Lift right arm and left leg simultaneously, hold for 2 seconds then relax. Repeat with the left arm and right leg.
Repeat exercise 10-15 times.

 

3. Shoulder range-of-motion exercises

Pendulum exercises

The goals of pendulum exercises are to improve muscular relaxation, to establish a limited arc of pain-free relaxed motion and to prepare shoulder complex for additional activity. Stand holding on to a stable object with the uninvolved arm. Bend over slightly at the waist and let the involved arm hang straight down, relaxing all the shoulder muscles.

Swing the arm (a) forward and back, (b) side to side and (c) in circles, first clockwise and then anticlockwise, increasing the diameter of the circle. Using the momentum of the swing, keep the muscles as relaxed as possible. Repeat 10-15 times each way.

CANE-ASSISTED EXERCISES

Using a cane, stick or broom handle, use the uninvolved arm to assist the involved arm in increasing range of motion.

Forward flexion

Stand, grasp the cane with both hands, shoulder width apart, palms down. Start with the cane resting across the hips. Lift the cane with straight arms out in front of you, as high as you can until a stretch is felt. Pause at the top for 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Abduction

Standing, grasp the cane with both hands, palm down with right / left hand palm up with right / left hand. Start with cane resting across hips. Using the cane, push your involved arm out to the side, but slightly in front of you (about 20˚), as high as you can. Pause at the top for 5 seconds, return to your start position. Repeat 10 times.

External Rotation.

Hold the cane in front of you, shoulder width apart, elbows bent at 90 ˚. Tuck a folded towel under your involved arm, above the elbow, keeping the elbows tucked into your waist, rotate the involved arm out to the side as far as you can, pushing with the involved arm. Hold for 5 seconds, return to your start position. Repeat 10 times.

Internal and external rotation behind back.

Hold a hand towel behind your back, with the uninvolved arm at the top. Use this arm to pull up the involved arm up your back as far as you can.(As if drying your back with the towel) Hold for 5 seconds, the return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Repeat with the involved arm behind your neck, with the towel, and pull the towel down with your uninvolved arm. Hold for 5 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.