Neck Strengthening Exercises for a Herniated Cervical Disc

Cervical vertebrae make up the neck portion of your spine. When a cervical disc becomes misaligned and moves out of place through events such as trauma or strains, it is known as a herniated cervical disc. Neck strengthening exercises for a herniated cervical disc can improve the functioning of your neck, lower your risks of sustaining further injury and protect against neck joint arthritis developing. Since all exercises may not be for you, check with your doctor first.

Doctor looking at neck x-rays with a patient in a neck brace (Image: LeventKonuk/iStock/Getty Images)

Forward Palm Pushes

Isometrics can provide useful neck strengthening exercises for a herniated cervical disc. Isometrics involve muscle contractions without moving your neck or any joint. Do a forward palm push by sitting upright in a firm chair, according to Place both palms onto the center portion of your forehead. Press your head into your palm. Hold this tension for eight seconds. Release the tension and relax 10 seconds. Repeat this forward-pushing exercise 10 times. If preferred, do this exercise while standing upright.

Backward Presses

Another isometric maneuver that can be used as a neck strengthening exercise for a herniated cervical disc involves a backward static press, otherwise known as a static extension, according to Sit upright in a firm chair and cup the backside of your head with your right palm. Press your head back into your palm and use your palm to resist the motion. Do not move your back or neck. Hold this tension eight seconds. Slowly release the tension and relax 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Shoulder Squeezing

Exercises that strengthen your upper back will help increase your neck strength, according to Do some shoulder presses as part of your neck strengthening exercises for a herniated cervical disc. Either stand or sit upright to start the exercise. Slightly tuck your chin and stand with your shoulders slightly back. Gently and slowly move your shoulder blades together as far as possible without experiencing pain or discomfort. Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible. Hold this position for five seconds. Return to the original position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 15 times. Do the exercise three times throughout the day.

Motionless Head Turns

Help strengthen the muscles surrounding your herniated cervical vertebrae by doing a motionless head turn. As an isometric exercise, known as static rotation, this maneuver involves sitting or standing upright, according to Place your right hand onto the right front-side of your head. Slowly push your head into your hand, as if you are trying to look over your right shoulder. Do not turn your face or eyes to the side. And, keep your back and neck straight throughout this exercise. Hold the tension five seconds. Release the tension and relax 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Do the exercise again by placing your left hand onto the left front-side of your head.

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