Neck and Shoulder Pain occurs because of muscular pain or the reason can be chronic diseases like cervical spondylitis or osteoarthritis.
In the modern world where lifestyle has become sedentary and because of hectic schedules and prolonged sitting at desks in one position, neck and shoulder pain arises and when ignored and the neck and shoulder muscles become weak it leads to chronic pain.
There are many treatment modalities to cure the neck and shoulder pains irrespective of the cause of its occurrence. Giving symptomatic treatment for such chronic pain is not useful.
However, neck and shoulder muscles strengthening exercises can prove to be very useful in treating such pains, and the immediate answer to how you can strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles is Yoga.
With various yogasanas and Pranayams the muscles can be strengthened and you can get rid of neck and shoulder pain.
Yogasanas To Get Rid Of Neck And Shoulder Pain
Balasana or Child Pose: Balasana is one of the relaxing yogasanas which soothes the mind, relieves anxiety and it is extremely relaxing for back, neck and shoulders.
Technique: Sit in Vajrasana. Bring your arms to rest backward in such a way that both the arms are lying on either side of the thighs. Bend forward and bring your forehead to touch the floor.
Stay in this yogasana for a few seconds.
Natarajasana or the Reclining twist: This yogasana stretches the neck and shoulder while relieving stress and calming the mind. This yogasana also improves the posture.
Technique: Lie on your back on the floor or on the yoga mat with the arms stretched horizontally out by your side. Bend your knees and bring your feet close to your hips. The soles of the feet are fully on the ground. Swing the knees to the left until the left knee touches the ground. Turn the head to the right and look at your right palm. In this position, the shoulder blades should touch the ground. Maintain your breath in this position and stay in this pose for a few seconds. Repeat the pose from the other side.
Marjariasana and Bitilasana – Marjariasana and Bitilasana makes the spine flexible and strengthens the neck and shoulder muscles. It also strengthens the arms and knees. It relaxes the mind and improves blood circulation.
Technique: Come on your knees and hands on the floor or on the yoga mat to practice Marjariasana or Bitilasana. Keep your palms directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your hands straight, do not fold them. Your toes can rest on the ground backward while practicing these yogasanas. While inhaling, draw your navel towards the ground and arch your spine towards the sky and gaze upwards. This is called Marjariasana.
While exhaling, draw your navel towards your spine and bring your chin towards your chest while practicing it. Stay in this position for a few seconds. Get into Child pose to relax after practicing these yogasanas.
Utthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle Pose: This yogasana stretches the spine, relieves the back ache and also helps in reducing stress and anxiety and also has a calming effect on the brain.
Technique: Stand straight on the floor or on the yoga mat. Widen your legs as much as you can. Bend towards the right side in such a way that you touch your ankle with the right hand while the left hand is raised straight above your head. Stay in position for a few breaths while maintaining your breathing. Repeat the yogasana from the left side.
Kohni Chalana or Elbow Rotations: Kohni Chalana is very helpful to improve the mobility and strength of the shoulders and the neck which may prevent neck and shoulder problems like cervical spondylitis and frozen shoulder
Technique: This can be done while standing straight or in sitting position as well. Stretch and bring your arms in front of your body. Fold your palms in to a fist and start rotating them clockwise for a minute and anti-clock wise. Do this as much as you can.
Matsyasana or the Fish Pose: Matsyasana provides strength and flexibility to the entire vertebral column. It is extremely beneficial for cervical region and helps in overcoming stress.
Technique: To do this yogasana, lie on your back on floor or on yoga mat. Place your arms alongside your body. Place your hands underneath your hips with palms facing downwards towards the floor. Gently and gradually raise your head and chest up. While keeping the chest elevated bring your head backwards and let the top of your head rest on the floor. With the head touching the floor, bring your elbows to as close to the body as possible and press the thighs and logs towards the floor. Hold this pose for a few breaths.
Pranayams For Neck And Shoulder Pain
Neck and shoulder pain can occur because of stress, tension and depression. For such people practicing pranayama can prove very helpful as it soothes the nerves and relieves tension and anxiety. Pranayamas which can be practiced for neck and shoulder pain are:
Anulom Vilom: It is said that there is nothing that Anulom Vilom can’t cure. While regulating the breathing pattern it helps in improving the blood flow to the body and increases oxygenation of the blood.
Technique: Sit in Padmasana. Close your right nostril with the thumb and inhale deeply from the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the ring finger and little finger of the same hand and exhale deeply from the right nostril. Now, inhale deeply from the right nostril and after inhalation closes the right nostril with the right thumb and exhales deeply from the left nostril. Repeat this for 7-8 times. You can practice Anulom Vilom for 5-7 minutes every day.
Sheetali: Sheetali has a calming effect on entire nervous system. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces muscular relaxation and is very effective in stress management. If you are stressed then a few minutes of Sheetali pranayama practice can calm and soothe you. This pranayama is very effective for relaxation of body and mind.
Technique: Sit in any of the meditative asanas i.e. – Sukhasana, Padmasana or Vajrasana. Roll your tongue and inhale through mouth while your tongue is rolled. You will feel that that air going inside your mouth is being cooled by the tongue. Exhale from the nostrils. You can practice 4 seconds of inhalation from mouth and 6 seconds exhalation from the nostrils initially and the ratio can be increased with practice.
Precautions While Practicing Yogasanas For Neck And Shoulder Pain
- Yoga should be practiced slowly and with awareness of the all the body parts moving and which muscles are stretching.
- The bodily movements while doing yoga should be very gentle and synchronized with the breathing.
- The Yogasanas and Pranayamas should be practiced a couple of times in a day to get relief from neck and shoulder pain.
- The Yogasanas and Pranayamas should be practiced even after the neck and shoulder pain goes, to get a permanent relief.
- People with severe neck, back and knee injuries should practice Yogasanas carefully.
- People who have undergone any surgeries recently should practice Yogasanas under the guidance of trained yoga experts and after proper consultation from a physician.
- Do not over stretch your body while doing any yogasanas. Only go as far as your body allows.
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