Cervical spinal flexion, also known as neck flexion, is the forward bending of the head and neck. It is one of the four main ranges of motion of the cervical spine, along with extension, rotation, and lateral flexion.
Flexion is an important movement of the cervical spine that allows us to perform everyday activities such as nodding, looking down at our phones, and driving. It also helps to maintain the normal curvature of the cervical spine and to keep the head balanced on the spine.
How does cervical spinal flexion occur?
Cervical spinal flexion is primarily facilitated by the contraction of the deep neck flexor muscles, which are located at the front of the neck. These muscles attach to the cervical vertebrae and the skull, and they work together to pull the head and neck forward.
Why is cervical spinal flexion important?
- It allows us to perform everyday activities. Flexion is required for many everyday activities, such as nodding, looking down at our phones, and driving.
- It helps to maintain the normal curvature of the cervical spine. The cervical spine has a natural forward curvature, which helps to absorb shock and to keep the head balanced on the spine. Flexion helps to maintain this curvature.
- It helps to improve range of motion. Maintaining good range of motion in the cervical spine is important for overall neck health and function. Flexion exercises can help to improve range of motion and to reduce stiffness in the neck.
- It can help to relieve neck pain. Flexion exercises can help to stretch the neck muscles and to reduce tension, which can help to relieve neck pain.
There are a number of things that you can do to improve your cervical spinal flexion, including:
- Perform flexion exercises. There are a number of simple flexion exercises that you can do to improve your range of motion and to reduce stiffness in your neck. Some examples include:
- Tucking your chin to your chest
- Bringing your ear to your shoulder
- Rolling your chin to your chest and then to your right shoulder, then to your left shoulder
- Stretch your neck muscles. Stretching your neck muscles can also help to improve your range of motion and to reduce stiffness. Some examples of neck stretches include:
- Gently tilting your head to the side and holding for 10-15 seconds
- Gently rotating your head to the right and then to the left, holding for 10-15 seconds each side
- Maintain good posture. Good posture helps to keep the cervical spine in alignment and can help to improve flexion range of motion. When standing, make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and your back straight. When sitting, make sure to have your feet flat on the floor and your back supported by the chair.
Cervical spinal flexion is an important movement of the cervical spine that allows us to perform everyday activities, maintain the normal curvature of the cervical spine, and improve range of motion. There are a number of things that you can do to improve your cervical spinal flexion, such as performing flexion exercises, stretching your neck muscles, and maintaining good posture. If you have any pain or stiffness in your neck that is not relieved by flexion exercises or stretching, it is highly recommended that you see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.