Range of Motion Exercises for Foraminal Stenosis
Exercises that strengthen and stretch the neck muscles can decrease pain from muscle injury and restore and preserve the range of motion of the neck after injury or surgery. Morning exercises may help relieve stiffness, and evening exercises can aid relaxation and the quality of sleep. Mild muscle ache and dull pain may be felt during the exercises, anything sharper than this is not normal and patients should stop the exercise immediately. For all of the following exercises the number of repetitions can be worked up to, with some able to manage just two or three initially. Form is key, so do not overdo the movement, take it slowly, and stop if you have any acute pain.
Neck Bending – tilt the head forward and touch the chin to the chest. Exhale with the movement and hold the position for a few seconds then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat ten to fifteen times and remember to relax into the movement.
Shoulder Rolls – whilst sitting or standing, hold the arms at the side with the elbows bent. Tighten the shoulders bringing the shoulder blades together and then roll the shoulders in a backwards direction like a rower. The movement should be done at a steady rhythm around ten to fifteen times and then repeated in a forwards direction.
Neck Rotation – Turn the head to look over the right shoulder, hold for a few seconds, return to center. Repeat ten to fifteen times on both the right and left sides.
Neck Tilting – Start by looking straight forward with the head straight and then tilt the top of the head to the right as if trying to bring the ear down to the shoulder. Do not bring the shoulder up to the ear and do not over-strain the neck. Hold the position for a few seconds and repeat on both left and right sides ten times.
Back Bending – Whilst standing or sitting up straight in a chair place the hands together behind the neck for support and bend the torso to the right. Hold for five seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat on both sides for ten to fifteen cycles and ensure that the back is straight during the movement.
Shoulder Stretch – Whilst sitting or standing, take the left wrist in the right hand and bring the arm up and over the head, pulling slightly towards the right. Do not pull too far or force the head forwards. Try to keep the back muscles relaxed and hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the center. Repeat ten to fifteen times in both directions.
Lower Back Range of Motion Exercise Video