3 Exercises To Help Your Cervical Spine Pain: Neck Pain

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

Would giving your child a piggy back, as in the  picture above give you neck pain? Then this article is for you.


Research shows that exercises help neck pain. [1] But which neck exercises are most helpful for your cervical spine pain (neck pain)?


In this issue of Bodi Empowerment  I show you three exercises to help your cervical spine pain. These exercises are a modification of the McKenzie exercises that I have found helpful for your cervical spine.


 See Also: The 5 Best Exercises For Your Stiff Neck



The Double Chin


Many people’s neck pain comes from overstretched ligaments caused by postural stress. Over a long period of time bad posture stretches the ligaments more and more until you feel pain.


Leave it longer and the muscles at the back of your neck and upper back get stretched out and tight. The muscles at the front of the neck get weak causing a muscle imbalance.


A great way to address the stress on the ligaments and muscles is to do the double chin exercise.

Cervical Spine Pain Exercise:Double Chin (Retraction) -Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

  • Tuck your chin in and down.
  • Move the head slowly backwards until it is pulled back as far as it will go and keep it in this position for 4 seconds.
  • You should see a double chin in the mirror.
  • Do this 10 times per session every 2 hours if you have cervical spine pain.

Look Up! (Sitting Extension)


Discs are eventually damaged from your unnatural posture over a long period of time, causing cervical spine pain. Damaged discs tend to bulge and prevent many movements as if you are stuck in with your head to one side, or you might have no movement in any direction.  Discs are another source of cervical spine pain.

Cervical Spine Pain Exercise: Look Up -Extension -Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

  • Sit down and do a double chin.
  • Lift your chin to look up going as far as you can .
  • Keep going as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Do this 10 times per session every 2 hours for your cervical spine pain.

Look Right! Look Left! (Neck Rotation)


Cervical spine pain comes from different sources including ligaments, muscles and discs as I have mentioned above. When you have no more pain or very little pain you can increase your range of motion in rotation.

Cervical Spine Pain Exercise:Rotation -Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

  • Sit down and do a double chin and keep that position as you do this exercise.
  • Turn your head as far right as you can go. Now turn your head as far left as you can go
  • If you get pain continue on the side of pain. Yes rotate your head into the pain. Not hard. Just a little bit into the pain
  • Your cervicial spine pain should decrease
  • If the pain increases switch sides and continue only on that side.


Tell us what you think in the comments below and like us on Facebook. This Toronto Downtown Chiropractor will answer all questions in the comments section. If you want to ask a question more privately just send me an email at drken@bodiempowerment.com


1. Bronfort G, Evans R, Anderson AV, et al. Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012; 156(1):1–10.


Dr Ken Nakamura

22 Responses to 3 Exercises To Help Your Cervical Spine Pain: Neck Pain
  • Chetan says:
    January 18, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I have tingling and numbness in my left arm (especially forearm to fingers) when I raise my neck up toward the ceiling. My range of motion to the left and right is normal. I feel soreness in my neck on the left side when i bend my neck towards the floor and my chin touches the chest, but no tingling or numbness.

    My cervical spine MRI findings are as follows:
    “There is no spondylolisthesis. There is disc desiccation at C6/7. Reduction in the C4/5 to C6/7 disc space noted. There is no marrow or paravertebral soft tissue edema. The spinal cord returns normal signal and there is no intraspinal mass seen. The structures of the imaged posterior fossa are unremarkable. At C3/4 to C5/6, there are diffuse disc bulges/posterior protrusions that indent the theca sac. No neural foramen narrowing is seen. At C6/7, a posterior disc protrusion indents the thecal sac. There is an ovoid focus at the left neural foramen that may be due to disc protrusion/sequestration, results in left neural foramen narrowing. However, a mass is not excluded.”

    Can you guide me with the right exercises and postures? Thanks very much.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks for your question Chetan. Try these exercises. https://www.bodiempowerment.com/cervical-disc-herniation-best-exercises-help-sore-neck/
      These exercises can make you worse. If the pain increases or symptoms like numbness, tingling or pain go further down the into the fingers or get stronger than you are getting worse and should immediately stop the exercises. These exercises should be supervised by a health professional that knows about these exercises.

      • Chetan says:
        January 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm

        Thanks Dr. Ken. I will revert with the results after trying out the exercises.

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