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Precautions and helpful hints for cervical strain

Standing and sitting


Driving
Don't drive with the seat too far back or too low. lf necessary, sit on a pillow or use a seat support such as Sacro-Ease@ to avoid stretching up and forward to see over the steering wheel. Don't sleep on your stomach. lncorrect

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While standing or sitting, keep neck drawn back and chin tucked in, not up. A proper chair will support your arms and shoulders and help prevent strains of the neck due to forward thrust.

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Lie on your side and adjust your pillow to maintain your head and neck in a neutral position. Keep your arms down. lncorrecl

The head rest should be high enough to prevent (further) injury in the event of a
rear-end collision.

Too low a position of an automobile head rest may predispose to neck injury in a rear-end collsion.

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Reaching

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Correct lf you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your neck (not your head) to fill in the hollow in your
neck.

Don't reach for a shelf higher than your head. Stand on a stool. Don't reach or look up for any length of time.

Resting and Sleeping


Don't lie on the sofa to watch

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Don't tilt head back when lifting

TV;sit up
properly. Don't prop your head
up or forward on high pillows while reading or watching TV. lf you read in bed, sit up straight.

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Use a bed board or a firm orthopedic mattress. A proper pillow is one that is comfortable for you. Try several till you find one that feels right to you. Usually, such pillows are small and fairly firm. When sleeping on your back, don't put your hands behind your head; this may cause excessive neck f lexion.

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General lnstructions:
Stretching
Stretching exercises are an important part of treatment to relieve discomfort in your neck. They help to restore motion and relieve pain associated with stiffness by relaxing the muscles that produce pain. The exercises presented here focus on both neck and face muscles.

Additional lnstructions:
- There may by be additional exercises which could be

helpful; these should be defined by your physician.


- Avoid sustained postures, these may fatigue muscles.
-

These exercises are not designed to be strenuous


however, you should follow the exercises as prescribed by your doctor. Gradually increase the number of times you repeat each exercise but stop when fatigued.

Avoid extremes of forward or backward position of the


head and neck.

Avoid rapid movements of the head and neck.

Exercises
Stand under a warm shower for five to ten minutes and perform the following exercises, twice daily if possible. Doing these exercises under a warm shower loosens the muscles, eases any discomfort, and facilitates the exercise. HOWEVER, they can also be done when not in the shower. Do not do these exercises if either excessive or lasting discomfort is produced. Should either occur, discontinue the exercises and seek medical advice.

a Stand erect. Turn head slowly as far as possible to I . theright. Return to normal center position and relax.
Turn head slowly as far as possible to the left. Return to
normal center position and relax.

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Stand erect. Try to touch left ear to the left rshoulder. Return to normal center position and relax. Try to touch right ear to the right shoulder. Return to normal center position and relax. Keep shoulders level; do not bring them up to the ear.

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Stand erect. Try to

. touch your chin

to

your chest, slowly. Raise head backwards, looking up at ceiling, slowly.

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Stand erect. Raise both shoulders as close to the ears as possible and hold as you count to five. Relax. Stretch your shoulders backward as far as possible and hold, then relax.