NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, May 12, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Neck and shoulder pain is a very common problem that people suffer from at various times in their lives. Fortunately, simple self-care solutions exist for decreasing pain in these areas using yoga, postural awareness, and pressure points.
Many people experience pain in the neck and shoulders as a result of working at computers and from excessive use of smart phones. Other reasons for neck pain include traumas, whiplash, pinched nerves, herniated discs, arthritis, and inflammation. While pain medications may be useful for those with severe pain, they do not resolve many of the underlying causes that lead to the pain. Surgery should be thought of as a last resort. Practices like yoga, acupuncture, massage, and self-administered use of pressure points can be useful for many people suffering from this condition.
One thing that makes yoga so powerful for neck pain, is that it can teach us the fundamentals of good posture and alignment by using simple movements and stretches. Many of our day to day work habits require us to lean forward. This can cause forward shifts in the head and hunching or rounding of the shoulders. In this position a lot of strain is placed on the neck and shoulders as they support the weight of the head.
In classes on yoga for neck pain we explore the natural movements of the neck including flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral bends. These simple movements, when done with awareness and intent, help to offset the unnatural work related postures that lead to pain. If you find yourself sitting at a desk for long periods of time, or using phones frequently, a good exercise is to simply look up. When we look at phones we are often looking down, and we need to reverse this movement by looking up and placing the neck into extension.
Similarly, if we shift our head forward to look at computer screens, we need to counterbalance this movement with pulling the neck straight back. This will engage the neck muscles and help to strengthen them. This exercise known as a chin tuck, can be done while sitting at a desk or from a standing position. It is one of the most simple exercises we can do, as we are just pulling the head and neck straight back. When doing it against a wall press the back of your head into the wall. When done properly you should also feel that you are getting a double chin by doing this exercise.
Another great exercise is to lay face down on the floor, and then lift your head so that your chin is touching the floor and you are looking straight ahead. You can also interlace your fingers and place them under your chin for support. This movement known as crocodile pose, helps to restore the natural curve of the neck and places the neck into gentle extension. It is recommended that this position be practiced regularly for at least 2 – 5 minutes, twice a day. During the exercise you can also rotate your head to either side while relaxing the head on the floor. In yoga this is a great move to do before cobra pose, sphinx, or bow.
The yoga pose cat cow is also often recommended for neck, shoulder, and back pain. This exercise is very good for beginners and people that are not very flexible. In this pose the head, neck and spine move up and down through flexion and extension. While many people with neck and back pain have too much flexion in their neck and spine, the cat cow pose helps to balance the movements of flexion and extension. It can also be good to hold cow pose as this will help to strengthen many of the neck and back muscles.
For more information about yoga for neck pain visit the Integrative Healing Society.
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