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Neck & Back Exercises for Whiplash

by
author image James Patterson
James Patterson specializes in health and wellness topics, having written and produced material for the National Institutes of Health, the President's Cancer Panel and an Inc. 500 Hall of Fame company. He is also a former sportswriter with writing experience in basketball, baseball, softball, golf and other popular sports.
Neck & Back Exercises for Whiplash
Whiplash is common after a car accident. Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Whiplash is the most common injury caused by car accidents. This painful condition causes the muscles in your neck and upper back to tighten, making it difficult to move. Exercises improve movement and strength after whiplash.

Read more: Can I Workout if I Have Whiplash?

Applying heat to your neck prior to exercise might make them more comfortable.
Applying heat to your neck prior to exercise might make them more comfortable. Photo Credit OcusFocus/iStock/Getty Images

Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motion exercises improve your ability to move after whiplash. Only move as far as you can without pain.

Chin-Tucks

Chin-tucks gently stretch the muscles along your neck and upper back.

Step 1

Sit up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together throughout this exercise.

Step 2

Slowly pull your head backwards as if you are tucking your chin. Look straight ahead throughout the movement. Stop when you feel stretching along the back of your neck.

Step 3

Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Flexion

Flexion is bending your neck forward.

Step 1

Perform a chin-tuck. Maintain this position throughout this exercise.

Step 2

Slowly bring your chin down toward your chest until you feel stretching along the back of your neck.

Step 3

Hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.

Side-Bending

Side bending exercises improve your ability to tip your ears toward your shoulders.

Step 1

Sit up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder until you feel a stretch along the left side of your neck.

Step 2

Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times on both sides. Work up to three sets in a row.

Step 3

Repeat this exercise on the opposite side.

Extension

Neck extension allows you to look up toward the ceiling. Maintain good posture during this exercise to avoid pinching nerves in the back of your neck.

Step 1

Perform a chin-tuck and maintain this position during your extension exercise. Slowly tip your head backward as you look up toward the ceiling.

Step 2

Stop when you feel stretching along the front of your neck and hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Rotation

Rotation exercises allow you to look over your shoulders.

Step 1

Sit up straight and maintain proper posture throughout this exercise. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a stretch along the left side of your neck. Hold 3 to 5 seconds, then relax.

Step 2

Repeat 10 times. Work up to three sets of 10 rotations to each side.

Be careful - strengthening exercises can cause pain after whiplash.
Be careful - strengthening exercises can cause pain after whiplash. Photo Credit Liderina/iStock/Getty Images

Isometrics

Isometric exercises strengthen your neck and upper back muscles without allowing any movement. As with the range of motion exercises, maintain good posture throughout these movements.

Step 1

Place one hand on your forehead. Press into your hand with your head as if you are trying to bend your neck forward. However, do not allow your neck to move. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Step 2

Place one hand on the back of your head. Using a chin-tuck motion, push your head backward against your hand. Hold 3 to 5 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.

Step 3

Place one palm against the side of your head, just above your ear. Press your head sideways as if you are trying to bring your ear toward your shoulder. Meet the resistance with your hand and hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides and repeat this exercise.

Step 4

Place one palm against your temple. Rotate your head against your palm while meeting the resistance with your hand. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times and switch sides.

Read More: Neck Strengthening Exercises

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