Mandy Knaap

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NECK AND BACK EXERCISES

 

Remember – Exercise should never be painful

The exercises in this section are only examples of possible exercises for various stages of rehabilitation. The number of reps, sets and hold periods of each exercise will depend on your stage of rehabilitation, your strength and range of movement.

Please consult your physiotherapist before embarking on a rehabilitation program. The physio will advise you about the intensity, frequency, speed and number of reps of each exercise. The physio will prescribe the correct exercises at the correct stage in your rehabilitation program. A good rehabilitation program is tailor made to each specific person or patient.

The only exercises that work are the ones that you do!

Chin tuck 

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Poke your chin forward slightly to feel the wrong movement.

Pull your chin in to flatten your neck.

Your face remains facing forward.

Do not tuck your chin in toward your chest.

You should feel the stretch in your upper neck.

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Alternative Wall Chin Tuck

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Fold up a towel and place it behind your shoulder blades.

Lean up against the wall.

Pull your chin in to flatten your neck until the back of your head touches the wall.

Feel the stretch in your upper neck.

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Side Neck Stretch

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Tilt your head to the side aiming your ear toward your shoulder until you feel the neck muscles stretch on the opposite side.

Hold the stretch.

Repeat to the opposite side.

neck stretches-side neck stretch 2

Progress the stretch by placing your hand on the side of the head and gently pulling your ear closer to your shoulder.

neck stretches-side neck stretch X; p72

DO NOT: Elevate your shoulder.

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Forward neck stretch 

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Bend your neck forward tucking your chin in toward your chest.

Hold the stretch.

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You can progress the stretch by placing your hands at the back of your head and letting the

weight of your arms assist the stretch.

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DO NOT: Point your elbows outwards but keep them relaxed pointing to the floor.

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Levator scapulae stretch 

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Rotator your head ½ way or 45° to one side.

Tuck your chin in looking toward your hip until you feel the stretch in your neck and on top of our opposite shoulder.

Repeat to the opposite side.

neck stretch-levator scapulae stretch 2; p75

Progress the stretch by placing your hand behind your head and gently pulling your chin further toward your collar bone.

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UPPER BACK STRETCHES

Rhomboid Stretch 

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Cross your arms over and hold onto your shoulder blades.

Pull your shoulder blades forward whilst you round your upper back.

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Upper back rotation

upper back rotation 1; p103
upper back rotation 2; p104

Sit on a chair.

Cross one arm in front of your body  and grab the outside of your opposite thigh.

Cross your other arm behind you grabbing  the back of the chair (or your  waistband or belt) as far across as possible.

Use both arms to rotate your body until you feel the stretch in your spine.

Repeat to the opposite side.

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Upper back extension

upper back extention 1; p101
upper back extention 2; p102

Sit on the front edge of a low-backed chair.

Place your hands (fingers plaited together) behind your head.

Lean back onto the back rest of the chair.

Extend backwards over the backrest supporting your head with your hands until you feel the stretch in your spine.

Hold.

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Alternative upper back extension (1)

alt upper back extention (1),1; p22
alt upper back extention (1),2; p23
alt upper back extention (1),3; p24
alt upper back extention (1),4; p25

Lie on your back over a rolled up hand towel.

The towel is placed vertically along your upper spine.

Your head is resting on a pillow.

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Alternative upper back extension (2)

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Stand in front of a counter (table or back of a chair)

Lean forward at your hips, knees slightly bent, and hold onto the counter.

Drop your chest through your shoulders stretching or directing your chest toward the floor.

Hold.

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LOWER BACK STRETCHES

Lower back rotation 

lower back rotation; p63

Lie on the floor (or bed) with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Drop your knees to the one side until your knee is on the floor and hold.

Keep your shoulders on the floor with your arms stretched out sideways.

Hold.

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Lower back flexion 

lower back flexion; p61

Lie on the floor (or bed) with your knees bent.

Pull your knees towards your chest, holding behind your knees, until you feel the stretch in your lower back.

Your buttock should lift off the floor.

Hold.

lower back flexion X; p62

DO NOT: Hold over your knees as this places strain on your knee joints.

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Lower back extension (hollowing)  and flexion (rounding)

lower back extension and flexion 1; p58
lower back extension and flexion 2; p59
lower back extension and flexion 3; p60

Kneel on the floor (or bed) on your hands and knees.

Hollow your back by dropping your tummy toward the floor and pushing your buttock up to the ceiling.

Hold.

Round your back by pulling in your tummy and tucking in your buttock.

Hold.

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Mckenzie Elbow Prop

McKenzie elbow prop 1 and full McKenzie extension 1; p64
McKenzie elbow prop 2; p65
McKenzie elbow prop 3; p66
McKenzie elbow prop 4; p67

Lie on your stomach on the floor (or bed) with your hands flat on the bed in front of your shoulders.

Push up on your hands to prop yourself up onto your elbows (as if you are reading a book on the beach propped up on your elbows).

Your shoulders and elbows are in line with each other.

Hold the position for 3 seconds.

Slowly lower your body back down to the floor by pushing on your hands and dropping your elbows out to the sides.

Do not use your back muscles to lift yourself up or release your body to the floor.

Hold for 3 seconds.

All the weight is taken through your hands and your back is totally relaxed.

Keep your neck in line with your spine.

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Full Mckenzie Extension 

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Lie on your stomach on the floor (or bed) with your hands on the floor in front of your shoulders.

Push up on your hands to extend your back until your elbows are as straight as they can be without your pelvis lifting off the floor.

Hold for 3 seconds.

Push on your hands and slowly lower your body back down towards the floor.

Hold for 3 seconds.

Your back is totally relaxed.

Keep your neck in line with your spine.

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Standing lower back extension 

standing lower back extension 1; p95
standing lower back extension 2; p96

Stand upright with your hands resting  on your lower back.

Lean backwards as far as it is comfortable whilst you lean on your lower back with your hands.

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