Resisted Cervical Retraction

Resisted cervical retraction is an exercise that can be performed to strengthen the deep neck flexor muscles. The exercise is helpful for patients experiencing neck pain, headaches, and upper back pain.

Image of performance of the resisted cervical retraction exercise with a ball on the wall

How to perform:

  • Start by placing an exercise ball on a wall at a height so that that top of your head is level with the top of the ball
  • Stand close to the wall with your head firmly pushed backwards into the ball so that the ball stays on the wall
  • Tuck your chin backwards as if you are giving yourself a double chin (keep your chin parallel with the ground when performing)
  • Hold for 5 seconds and return to the start position
  • Perform 12-15 reps or until your neck muscles are fatigued
  • Perform 2 sets 2-3 days per week

Resisted cervical retraction can be helpful for a variety of musculoskeletal complaints and has been shown to be particularly helpful for headaches.

We always recommend making an appointment for any new onset spinal or extremity pain as well as for re-aggravations of previous symptoms to properly diagnose the underlying cause and to determine the most appropriate treatment.

To make an appointment, click on the following link:

Yours in health,

Lederman Chiropractic & Sports Medicine


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