Mobility Medicine — How to Maintain Neck Flexibility

ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of the day's top blogs from Virginia Christian Alliance.

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola


Story at-a-glance

  • Regularly practicing neck exercises — such as lateral bending, occipital neck flexibility, eight-point isometric, and the figure eight exercise — will significantly increase your neck flexibility and range of motion, and reduce stiffness.
  • These exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles around your cervical spine, thereby reducing the risk of neck pain and preventing injuries and degeneration.
  • These neck exercises can also improve your posture by aligning the spine correctly. This, in turn, can alleviate tension headaches and chronic neck pain.
  • The figure eight neck exercise, in particular, challenges balance and proprioception, enhancing mental sharpness and body awareness, which is crucial for daily activities and overall mobility.
  • From beginners to more advanced individuals, these exercises can be adapted to fit anyone’s fitness level, emphasizing the importance of starting slow, listening to your body, and progressively increasing intensity.

An astonishing 68% of adults have damage in their discs, or cushions, between their cervical vertebrae. This is referred to as cervical disk degeneration. If you don’t have it now, you will likely get it unless you are involved in a neck mobility program. An early sign of this might be noticing a popping or cracking sound, known as crepitus, when you rotate your neck.

This noise can occur due to the movement of joints, ligaments and tendons in the neck area. Some people might feel a grinding sensation, which could be due to the friction between your bones or cartilage.

When the disk between your cervical vertebrae shrinks as you age, it can lead to pain, stiffness, or even nerve-related symptoms if your disk affects nearby nerve structures.

Although I had no symptoms, I suffered from degeneration of my 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae when I was in my early 60s. As far as I know, there are no exercise programs to prevent this, which is why I created one for you.

I have several dear friends who are chiropractors and seven years ago I started seeing one regularly to address this condition. The treatments and the exercises they advised seemed to halt the progress of the condition, but I wasn’t pleased that it wasn’t completely resolved. I also noticed that I had sounds that occurred when I rotated my neck and was always concerned that it was related to cervical degeneration.

After I started working with Bahlon, I began to appreciate something that a chiropractor friend had told me and has stuck with me ever since: “Motion is the lotion.” I love that statement because it is simple, accurate and precise. When we fail to move our body in the ways that it was designed to, over time, we will lose the mobility that we all had as children.

The following exercise is a perfect illustration of the creativity that is possible once you are reconnected with yourself. The potential of what you can create is nearly mind-bending. Creativity is different for each of us and typically related to our passions. In my case, I had been struggling for three months trying to identify a set of mobility exercises that could restore my structure to that which I experienced as a child.

How I Created This Exercise

In mid-January 2024, I woke up at 11:11 PM. I was tempted to go back to sleep because it was far too early to wake up even though I went to bed at 6:30 PM. I recognized the number was a sign for me to get up and respond to the intuition that I was being given, and I’m glad I did because that was the morning that I created this neck exercise program that I later revised to the one below.

Over a few weeks, I began to understand that rotating my head in different directions was key to restoring its vitality, so I played around with adding and subtracting different modifications. This specific set of cervical mobility exercises has never been previously identified. Novel features include the integration of active isolated stretching with the near-infrared Light Magic bulbs.

I later came to realize that cervical mobility is not just about getting your spinal segments to move and rotate as much as they can, but to increase the strength and flexibility of supporting neck muscles. This is because tight neck muscles radically limit the movements in all planes of your cervical vertebrae. This would Include flexion, extension, rotation and side bending.

The objective of these exercises is to restore natural movement in your cervical spine, which is diminished for most of us due to lack of use. This is a perfect illustration of the “use it or lose it” principle.

Regularly practicing these range-of-motion exercises is crucial. Without them, there’s a high likelihood of losing your neck mobility. Consistent exercise is key to maintaining the health and flexibility of your cervical spine.

Stay mindful of comfort for all exercises:

It’s crucial to remain within a range that is comfortable and pain-free.

Avoid any movements that cause discomfort or strain.

Frequency for all cervical movements:

Perform as many repetitions as feels comfortable.

Trust your body’s feedback to determine the number of repetitions.

Note that the optimal number may vary daily.

When combining these exercises with near-infrared light therapy, it’s important to understand the positioning relative to the light source. Specifically, when performing exercises in front of the light(s) and tilting or extending your head backwards, the light directly illuminates two crucial glands: the thyroid gland in your neck and the thymus gland beneath your breastbone (sternum).

This exposure to specific light frequencies significantly benefits these vital organs by promoting their repair and regeneration.

Addressing the Most Common Degenerated Cervical Disks, C5 and C6

To prevent degeneration of these discs, it’s vital to engage them in their available range of motion. Additionally, for those who already have some damage, certain movements can help in reversing or alleviating this deterioration. Ensuring regular movement in this area of your spine is crucial to preventing the degeneration of these commonly damaged spinal discs.

To introduce movement into these discs, start by rotating your head to one side while keeping your posture upright. Then, move your head forward as far as possible, effectively bringing your chin towards your chest and then extending back. After reaching the limit of this motion, rotate your head slightly — about an inch or two — and repeat the movement.

Continue this process, gradually rotating your head through various angles, covering a semi-circular motion across your upper torso. Aim to achieve this up-and-down movement in about 10 different positions to ensure a comprehensive range of motion for these cervical vertebrae.

Then rotate an inch or so to the other shoulder and repeat the process. Continue to rotate across your body so that you’ve moved your neck up and down in about 10 different positions covering the entire circumference over your upper torso. You can then reverse the direction and repeat a few times back and forth.

Save This Article for Later – Get the PDF Now

Download PDF

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician, as well as a best-selling author and expert in the field of natural health. Early in his medical career, he practiced conventional medicine but realized that the methods he learned in medical school weren’t working anymore. This led him to discover the wonderful world of holistic healing, a path that he continues to follow this day. In 1997, Dr. Mercola founded to serve as a platform where he can share his analysis and other experiences to his audience. It is one of the earliest health websites that focuses on holistic medicine. It has since become one of the leading health websites. Aside from running a website, Dr. Mercola is a prolific writer, having written 17 books, the latest being “The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing the Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal.” Three of his books have been included in The New York Times Best Sellers list, specifically “Effortless Healing,” “The No-Grain Diet” and “The Great Bird Flu Hoax.”