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Neck Extension Exercises for the Vagus Nerve

by
author image Jason Aberdeene
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.
Neck Extension Exercises for the Vagus Nerve
A man is stretching his neck at the office. Photo Credit AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

The vagus nerve stems from the base of the brain stem, moving down the neck to the abdomen. Damage or pain in the vagus nerve can be caused by pressure from muscles or tendons that are too tight or impede on the nerve. Neck extension exercises will help reduce pain and pressure on the nerve.

Neck Flexion

Neck flexion exercises are designed to improve downward range of motion in your neck as well as your shoulders. To perform a basic flexion exercise, sit down in a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. From this position, lower your chin down toward your chest, keeping your back straight as you do so. Hold this position for a count of 10 seconds before slowly sitting back up. Repeat this motion 10 times or until you're fatigued.

Neck Extension to Retraction

This neck exercise will stretch out and strengthen the muscles on the side of your neck as well as your shoulder and upper back muscles. Sit down in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and head extended out in front of your neck. With this starting position, you should feel some tension in your neck, as your head should be out in front of your body. From this position, slowly draw your head back and your chin down in toward your neck. Draw in as far as you can, holding this position for several seconds before relaxing. Repeat this entire motion until you're fatigued.

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Basic Neck Extension

Neck extension exercises will improve range of motion in the back portion of your neck, reducing pressure on your vagus nerve. Sit down in a chair with your arms at your sides and your feet flat on the floor. With your back straight, tilt your head backward until the back of your head touches the back portion of your neck. Hold this position for a count of 10 seconds before slowly returning to your original position. Repeat 10 times or until you're fatigued.

Isometric Neck Extension

This isometric neck extension exercise will help build muscle in your neck and shoulders without straining your shoulder muscles. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent and your arms at your sides. From here, bend your arms at the elbows, placing your hands behind your neck and elbows out in front of you. From this position, rotate your head back, fighting against the tension of your hands and holding for a count of 10 seconds. Slowly return to your original position, repeating this motion 10 times or until you're fatigued.

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References

Demand Media