Physio exercises

I have seen my NHS physiotherapist three times now (over a period of 5 weeks). During the first session, we talked about posture and lifestyle (think I passed the test). He gave me the following 3 short exercises (10 repetitions of each) to do regularly (6-7 times a day).

1. Chicken Tuck

full-protraction       full-retraction

This counteracts the tendency we all have of allowing our heads to poke forwards in a poor posture. The whole movement is like the forward and back movement that chickens make. Hold the movement at the extreme of the backward posture for a few seconds.

This one causes me the most discomfort. It still, 5 weeks later, feels horrible.

2. Neck extension


This is the movement of allowing the head to go back until the face is looking directly at the ceiling.  Allow your neck to ease back steadily as you do this, leaving your neck at the end of the movement for a few seconds.

This movement has definitely become easier for me over the weeks – when I first started, I had a fear of looking upwards – I realise now that my head won’t drop off when I do it.

3. Arm Stretch

OK so I couldn't find a proper photo for this one :)

OK so I couldn’t find a proper photo for this one :)

Sitting with a good posture, I am to hold my hands, palms facing forward and fingers stretched, each side of me and raise my straight arms in a circle until they are above my head.

This feels good to get the shoulder blades moving.

Verdict so far? I’ve been doing these exercises several times a day for over a month now. Numbers 2 and 3 feel good while I’m doing them, and I certainly don’t feel that they do any harm. But I’m frustrated that my neck doesn’t feel any different in-between exercising and I wonder if there should be any improvement in my neck pain by now?  I wonder how much success others have had with this kind of thing?



2 thoughts on “Physio exercises

  1. meltintoyogabristol says:

    Physio exercises didn’t help me very much with my knee pain, mainly because I was doing them wrong! My own ignorance about how the body works resulted in me continually doing my exercises wrong, which brought the physio to the conclusion that I needed surgery. I had surgery only to find out that it was completely unneccessary. Fun, fun, fun! :P
    If you want to know more drop me an email and I can give you some details :) x

  2. emaedra says:

    My thought on the first exercise? This seems wrong. If you you stick your head forward you actually cause more irritation to the nerves in the neck and overwork the front of the neck muscles more. I would do the second part of this exercise only and do it lying down (something my pilates teacher gave me as an exercise). Lay back, then tuck your chin lightly and elongate your neck, as tho there is an invisible hook pulling it back along the floor. Put your fingers over the two slender muscles in the front of your neck. If they turn on, you are using the wrong muscles. The progression is to be able to get strong enough to pick your head up off the floor without activating those front of the neck muscles. Once you can do that, then you can do this exercise sitting up. There is also one where you lay on your stomach and ‘roll the marble’ with your nose, which was helpful for my neck pain (I do struggle with my posture still as I am in front of a computer a lot, so its a continuous battle!). Also I wonder why they aren’t looking at your shoulders, upper back and thoracic spine, these areas must be both mobile and strong to keep the neck happy. I often get tension headaches when my thoracic spine gets locked up.

    As you can tell, I’ve done a lot of therapy lol

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