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The Cervical Spine

Consists of seven vertebrae spanning from the base of the skull to the thoracic spine (level with the collar bone).
Cervical spine disc bulges occur when the disc (lying between two vertebrae) pushes onto the back of the spinal canal (as shown in the image below).
Disc bulges can be symptomatic (not in all cases), when symptoms do occur, they’re typical of upper body weakness, reduced reflexes, tingling or numbness in the shoulder, arms, hands & fingers on both or one side of the body.

Cervical spine disc bulges can be caused by

  • Injury
  • Trauma
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Certain occupations such as jobs with a high level of vibration (truck drivers)
A typical time frame for complete recovery is 24-36 months with exercise interventions.

Exercises to reduce pain & management of a cervical disc bulge (+12 weeks after onset of symptoms)

  • Neck movements (neck circles within pain-free range of motion)


  • Chin Tuck


  • Protraction & Retraction


  • Prone Ys


  • Aerobic exercises – Bike & Rower








  • Seated Row


  • Carry








It’s always recommended before starting an exercise program to consult your healthcare team. The above exercises are a general guide & not specific in any way. Give our Exercise Physiologists a call on 1300 397 497 to ask how we can develop an individualised exercise program for your cervical disc bulge.