CERVICAL SPINE INJURY

    • Posture

      I usually advise people to strive to keep their neck neutral throughout all activities. They need to in effect pretend strings are attached from the top of the head to the ceiling, essentially standing and sitting straight and tall.  The less twisting, bending or awkward positions the better and the less flexing forward of the head when reading, using laptops and even sitting watching television the better.  Everything they interface from computers, televisions, people need to be square on to maintain that neutrality.  Whilst driving they need to use the head restraint, properly and also whilst asleep they need to adjust their pillows appropriately depending on their sleeping position i.e. if they sleep on their side they need to pack soft pillows between the ear and the mattress so that again the neck remains neutral.

       

      Activities

      Lifting and carrying need to be kept to a minimum but particularly activities above chest height such as working on shelves or cleaning or DIY, as well as gardening and past times need to be limited with activities above chest height.

       

      Exercises

      It is best to move the neck through a normal range of motion (i.e. with flexion, extension, lateral rotation and lateral flexion) on rising in the morning and at other times of the day, particularly prior to exercise. Impact exercise should be avoided and careful attention to neck posture must be adhered to when swimming.  For weights and rowing machines are best avoided.

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