Top 10 Cervical Spondylosis Exercises To Treat Neck Pain (2023)

Last updated: February 17, 2020

Can Cervical Spondylosis Relief Exercise Help Treat Early Cervical Spondylosis? Yes, and the sooner you start the better! Discover the 10 best exercises to relieve cervical spondylosis pain.

Cervical spondylosisIt is an age-related condition that occurs mainly in people over the age of 40. Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative disease of the spine that can result from wear and tear on the intervertebral discs in the cervical region of the spine. It is also known as neck arthrosis or cervical arthrosis.

List of exercises for cervical spondylosis

1.Types of exercises for cervical spondylosis
2.Neck flexion and extension (going down and up)
3.Head tilt left and right
4.neck twist
5.neck retraction
6.shoulder bearing
7.neck extension
8.neck flexion
9.lateral flexion
10.Neck Stretching Exercises for Cervical Spondylosis (Right and Left Side)
11.Sternocleidomastoid Strain (SCM)
12.Prevention of cervical spondylosis

For more information, see:What causes spondylosis?

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Types of exercises for cervical spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis exercises can be broadly classified into 3 different types of exercises such as:

  • Mobility exercises in cervical spondylosis
  • Isometric exercise for cervical spondylosis
  • Stretching exercises for cervical spondylosis

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Agility Exercises:

Flexibility exercises help maintain neck flexibility and increase neck range of motion. These exercises are suggested by mostphysical therapySpecialists in the treatment of cervical spondylosis.

Agility Exercises – Exercise 1 through 5

Isometric Exercise for Cervical Spondylosis:

In isometric exercises, the hand provides resistance. It is recommended to perform isometric exercises in a straight position for cervical spondylosis. You can do these exercises while standing or sitting in a chair.

Isometric Exercises – Exercise 6 to 8


Neck stretching exercises help maintain good neck posture and prevent most possible neck injuries.

Stretching Exercises - Exercise 9 and 10

For more information, see:All about cervical spondylosis

Ten exercises for cervical spondylosis

Below are the top 10 exercises mentioned by doctors or physical therapists to treat cervical spondylosis.

1. Neck flexion and extension (lowering and lifting)

  1. Stand or sit in a chair.
  2. Slowly tilt your head forward until your chin touches your chest.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Return to your starting position.
  5. Then tilt your head back slightly.
  6. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  7. Repeat the stretch five times in each direction.

This exercise works both the front and back of the neck and helps improve neck flexibility and movement.

2. Head tilt left and right

  1. Sit in a chair or stand.
  2. While keeping your left shoulder down, slowly tilt your head toward your right shoulder.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Back to the center.
  5. Repeat the same exercise on the other side.
  6. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  7. Repeat the entire sequence 5 times.

This exercise will help work the sides of the neck.

For more information, see:Top 10 Spondylolisthesis Exercises for Back Pain

3. Neck twist

The neck twist is also another best exercise that works on the sides of the neck.

  1. This exercise can be done standing or sitting in a chair.
  2. Maintain a straight posture whether you are standing or sitting.
  3. Slowly turn your head to the right and keep your chin straight.
  4. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  5. Back to the center.
  6. Slowly turn your head to the left.
  7. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  8. Back to the center.
  9. Repeat five times on each side.

4. Neck retraction

  1. Sit in a chair with your shoulders back and your head straight.
  2. Keeping your head straight without lowering your chin, tuck your chin in
  3. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and feel the stretch in your neck.
  4. Return to your original position.
  5. Repeat 5 times.

5. Shoulder camp

Strengthening your shoulders is just as important for a healthy neck. Training the shoulders also strengthens the muscles that support the neck. Shoulder rotation exercises help keep your shoulder and neck joints healthy and well lubricated.

  1. This can be done sitting or standing in a chair. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart when standing.
  2. In one smooth motion, roll your shoulders in this order - up, back, and down.
  3. Repeat five times.
  4. In one gentle motion, roll your shoulders in reverse order - up, forward and down.
  5. Repeat 5 times.

For more information, see:Simple exercises for knee pain

Exercises 6-8 below are isometric exercises for cervical spondylosis

6. Neck extension

  1. Place your palms on the back and base of your head and apply slight forward pressure.
  2. Meet resistance with your head and neck.

7. Neck flexion

  1. Place the middle and index fingers of both hands in the middle of the forehead and between the eyebrows and apply gentle backward pressure.
  2. Meet resistance with your head and neck.

8. Lateral flexion

  1. Sit upright with your head in a neutral position.
  2. Place your palms over/around your ear.
  3. Apply light pressure to the head with your hand while resisting with your head.

9. Neck stretch (right and left side)

  1. Tilt your head to the right until your right ear reaches your right shoulder until you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck.
  2. You can get a little more stretch by pushing the head a little further with your right hand and applying very little pressure that you can bear. You should only feel a slight stretch.
  3. Repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds on each side.

10. Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) stretch.

The sternocleidomastoid is the large, rope-like muscle at the front of each side of the neck. This becomes rigid in a forward-facing head position.

  1. Stretch by looking over your right shoulder and then tilting your head back.
  2. Repeat on the opposite side.
  3. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds on each side.

For more information, see:The Best Exercises for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Prevention of Cervical Spondylosis:

There are no specific methods that can prevent the pathological process of cervical spondylosis. Some preventive measures can be taken to avoid the occurrence of cervical spondylosis.

What to do:

  • Regularly practice exercises that help develop flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the neck area.
  • If you spend a long time sitting in front of the system during your day-to-day work, take breaks in between.
  • Always use a thin pillow and a firm mattress.
  • When getting up from a lying position, always first turn to the side and then stand up.
  • If the pain is acute, take the medications your doctor has prescribed, immobilize your neck, and get complete rest.

Learn more about medications for pain relief


  • use a companyCollar cervicalwhen you are away for a long time. The cervical pillow allows hyperextension of the neck and relaxes neck muscles that are normally tight during daytime activities.

Contoured neck pillow

It is not:

  • Don't run or do strenuous exercise if you have neck pain or cervical spondylosis.
  • Avoid sitting in one position for long periods of time.
  • Don't drive for long periods of time.
  • Avoid bad roads when traveling on two or four wheels.
  • Never use more than one pillow under your head when sleeping.
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights on your head or neck.
  • Don't make sudden twisting movements of your body or head when you need to turn around.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid sitting in stressful positions for long periods of time.

If for any reason an experienced doctor is not available in your area, please contact us here.

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Top 10 Cervical Spondylosis Exercises To Treat Neck Pain (12)

DR. Kaleem Mohd

The doctor. Kaleem Mohammed graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the Deccan College of Physiotherapy, which Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, India. The doctor. Kaleem is an expert in managing the physical therapy needs of patients with orthopedic and spine problems and post-surgical rehabilitation. The doctor. Kaleem has been associated with HealthClues since its inception, where he facilitates diagnosis and advanced consultation with senior physicians. He is also a prolific medical researcher and author who loves to share insightful commentary and helpful tips to educate the patient community about fitness, treatment options, and post-treatment recovery.


5.0 rating based on 12,345 reviews

General rating: 5 outside of5related to10assessments.


-Naresh Nayak


I checked several websites for this condition and rated the information on this website as the best. In particular, providing charts of neck exercises is a great help.



Cervical Spondylosis Very well explained. Many Thanks

-Bhupal Chahal

Note: The information available on is intended solely to raise awareness of health and fitness-related issues and is not a substitute for consulting a licensed physician.

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