Stretching the back of the neck by extending the chin to the chest helps to relieve pain and chronic stiffness from cervical degenerative disc disease, according to Spine-health. Patients should stretch as many sides of the neck as possible by slowly turning the head from side to side as well as stretching the upper thoracic area and front of the neck by extending the chin upward with eyes facing the sky and stretching the ear sideways to the shoulder.
Most exercise programs for neck treatment consist of a combination of aerobic conditioning, strengthening and stretching, states Spine-health. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and range of motion in the cervical joints. Performing stretching exercises every day provides best results, and patients may do some exercises several times each day.
Strength exercises help to reduce or eliminate episodes of recurring pain by improving and maintaining proper posture, explains Spine-health. Patients should allow adequate muscle recovery periods between sessions and only perform strength exercises every other day.
Aerobic exercise is excellent for stimulating blood flow to muscles and soft tissue, which loosens the muscles and increases range of motion, according to Spine-health. Prolonged aerobic exercise generates endorphins in the body, which help alleviate pain. Patients should strive for approximately 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise every day by walking, running or using machines, such as a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine.