Restriction of neck movements is common following thyroid surgery. While it might feel uncomfortable, restricting a patient's neck range of motion is good practice because it allows a thyroid incision to heal appropriately. Therefore, it is common to find a thyroid patient with a neck brace after a thyroid removal procedure. However, one should be careful to avoid overusing their neck brace. By preventing neck movement, scar tissue tends to pooch thereby leading to the tightness that might prevent normal movement of the neck after healing. Therefore, neck exercises should form part of your healing program. The following neck exercises should help a thyroid patient with the healing process.
Since the incision to remove a thyroid gland during surgery is made directly below Adam's apple, turning your head sideways might seem useless in as far as neck exercises for thyroid healing is concerned; however, nothing could be further from the truth. As you turn your head, the skin around the incision moves and stretches to a certain degree. To perform a head turn, try looking over one shoulder until you feel the area around the incision begin to pull. Hold that position for about three counts then turn to look over the other shoulder for the same number of counts. It is important to remember that the number of counts depends on how fresh the incision is. The newer the wound is, the lower the number of counts.
Up and Down Movements
Most patients try to avoid the neck exercise as much as possible. Since the incision to remove an ailing thyroid is usually made across the neck, the fear of reaping it open by looking up is real for some patients. However, it should not be the case because by performing the up-down exercise, you can prevent protrusion of scar tissue. You only need to be careful with this exercise because overdoing it could cause a healing wound to open. In performing the activity, start by looking down at your feet and then tilt your head backward. As you begin to see the ceiling, make sure that you control your movement and only go as far as you feel comfortable. Stretching an incision spot should not feel painful. Hold that position for three counts and repeat five times.
The head tilt resembles the head turn exercise only that with the latter, instead of looking over one's shoulder, one tries to let their ears touch their shoulders. Perform this exercise correctly by slowly tilting your head to the side with the intention of having your ear touch the corresponding shoulder. Like all the other exercises, only go as far as you feel comfortable. Head tilts help relieve muscle strain on your neck and also reduce hoarseness in your voice.
For more information, contact a professional such as Jane Harding Endocrine Surgeon.