Oculomotor Rehabilitation Exercises for the Neck
An injury to the neck or head can disturb reflexes which coordinate simultaneous neck and eye movements and balance. One reason some people have trouble regaining normal pain-free movements after trauma to the neck or head is that these important reflexes are not functioning properly. These reflexes play a role in how a problem with the upper neck can disturb balance. The following exercises are geared to activate these reflexes. In a more acute stage, these exercises are best done lying on the floor so the weight of the head and arms do not strain the neck.
Cervico-Ocular Training (Smooth pursuit)
The point of this exercise is to focus and maintain your gaze on your thumb while you turn your head in a smooth continuous movement.
Lie with arms stretched out in front of you
Focus your gaze on the right thumb nail and maintain throughout the exercise
Slowly and continuously move the right thumb in an arc out to the side
Pause and then return to start position, maintaining focus through the entire arc of motion and back to start position
Repeat 5 times on each side