Neck pain can be a serious roadblock to seniors as it affects their sleep, mobility causes discomfort, and affects their range of motion. Due to age, most people are wary of performing intensive exercises since those alleviate their neck pain and lead to injuries.

Neck exercises for the elderly include light stretches and sitting exercises that require little to no equipment. This facilitates repetition and can go a long way in reducing pain in the short term.

In addition to this, at an older age, there are already pre-existing health conditions that require reliance on medications, so physiotherapy for neck pain is a great drug-free approach to alleviating neck pain.

It includes a host of exercises and postural correction measures that helps seniors with immediate comfort and relief as well as enable them to perform preventative measures against this issue.

Also Read: Questionnaire to Decide Whether You Need Physiotherapy For Your Neck Pain

Exercises and Streteches for Elderly

  • Downwards Neck Stretch – The great thing about these neck exercises for the elderly is that they can be performed sitting on a chair in the comfort of your home. To start off, sit up tall in your chair and relax your shoulders, allowing them to pull back and droop down.
    Now bring your chin down, without moving the position of your shoulders as far as you feel comfortable. This will allow your neck to feel a good and elongated stretch. To intensify this further, place your hands at the back, applying gentle pressure and repeating the same motion as before. Hold this for 30 to 60 seconds depending on your comfort level and rest. 
  • Upwards Neck Stretch – Another great neck exercise for the elderly that they can do sitting in a chair is the upwards neck stretch. Sitting in a position with your back straight, pull back your shoulders and droop them downwards. Proceed by bringing your head back as you look at the ceiling and going as far back as possible. A fair warning: do not try to stretch beyond your comfort level and knowingly push into pain. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds depending upon the comfort and release. 
  • Sideways Neck Stretch – This is indeed a good physiotherapy neck exercise for the elderly as it is guaranteed to provide a good stretch to relieve muscle tension and stiffness in the neck. especially that caused due to a bad sleeping position. Sit up straight and tall in the chair, with your shoulders relaxed and pulled back. Holding this position, bring your ear down to the shoulder. A common mistake that happens in such exercises is that people tend to bring the shoulders to the ear and this is NOT recommended at all. Leave your shoulders relaxed and stretch as far as it feels comfortable for you. You can also increase the intensity of this exercise by placing a hand on the side of the head bending and applying gentle pressure. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 
  • Rotating Neck Stretch – This is not only a good neck stretch for the elderly but for all adults who spend prolonged stretches looking at the computer. This stretch helps relieve soreness and stiffness that is a common repercussion of these activities.  Start off by sitting up straight, with the shoulders relaxed and pulled back. Now, look over to one side as much as you can to a point that feels comfortable. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side. 
  • Upper Arm Neck Stretch – This stretch will definitely ease any stiffness and soreness by providing a great stretch to the neck muscles. This uses the upper arm as a tool to enable an elongating stretch that is necessary to provide long-lasting relief. Start with sitting up straight, your shoulders pulled back, and relaxed.

    Now take your arm of the side you are stretching behind the shoulder to stabilize the shoulder blade. Some people may find this uncomfortable so it is recommended for them to just place one hand behind the shoulder. Proceed with turning your head at a 45-degree angle to one side and bring the head down looking straight at the knee on the side.

    While doing this you should feel a good stretch on the opposite side behind the neck and the shoulder. This muscle that is feeling the stretch is called the Levator Scapular. You can also increase the intensity by placing your hand at the back of your head to apply gentle pressure. Hold this position and repeat the same on the other side. 

For more recommendations for physiotherapy exercises for the neck amongst the elderly, head on over to Phyt Health, India’s first digital physiotherapy platform that uses 3D imaging and Artificial intelligence to provide accurate solutions and treatment plans for your needs.
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