Long Working Hours And A Sedentary Lifestyle Contribute To The Onset Of Several Health Conditions Shoulder And Neck Pain Are Two Of Them Here Are Some Yoga Poses To Relieve The Tension
Of late, remote working is the new normal we all are living with. If you too are working from home, chances are you are struggling with shoulder and neck pain. The digital nature of our current lifestyle has led to serious health issues and even injuries. Stiffness in shoulders and neck pain have become the most common malady among millions of people.
Practising a good posture and reducing screen time can help alleviate the problem. Yoga is another great way to improve your neck and shoulder conditions. We asked yoga instructor and lifestyle coach, Grand Master Akshar, to suggest some yoga poses to help you with shoulder and neck pain.
“Many studies prove how yoga provides pain relief and functional improvements in people. It is important, however, that you maintain consistency with your practice for a minimum of 3-4 months. This will enable you to experience the results,” he said.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Get back on your knees and hands and tuck your toes beneath them.
- Lift your hips high and fold downwards until the body take the pose of a V-shape.
- Position your arms wider than the span of the shoulders and spread the feet to a width about the width of the hips. Spread all your fingers and apply a little more pressure on the forefinger and thumb of both the hands.
- Lift your kneecaps while pressing the heels against the mat. Draw your belly towards the spinal cord and create a little space in the upper back region with the rotation of the triceps.
- Hold this position for about five long and deep breaths.
What Causes Shoulder Pain
Causes of shoulder pain are linked back to the anatomy of the shoulder itself. Knowing the complicated anatomy of the shoulder is crucial to diagnosing and understanding shoulder pain.
To start, the major bones of the shoulder include the clavicle , the scapula , and the humerus . The shoulder joint connects these in four separate joints.
Frequent Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can also sideline a client’s workout. Not to mention, it can also make it difficult to do everyday activities. Carrying groceries, picking up children, and household chores all utilize shoulder muscles and joints.
The reports that shoulder pain is usually due to:
- inflammation or tearing of the tendon
- shoulder instability
- arthritis in the shoulder joints
- bone fractures, such as breaking the shoulder blade or collarbone
reveals that clients in certain occupations are more likely to develop shoulder pain. Work-related risk factors include handling heavy physical loads, using awkward postures, and engaging in repetitive movements.
What Is A Tight Neck And Shoulder Condition
Tightness and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, also known as frozen shoulder, have become quite common these days. The tightness in the neck and shoulder is quite different from the sharpness and pain that we feel after an injury. This tightness can be described as tension, stiffness, soreness, and pressure in these areas.
Low Lunge With Arms Extended
From table-top position, step your right foot forward and move the left knee back. Release the toes and lift the torso up into a Low Lunge. Pull the left hip toward the right knee and push your right shin forward while, at the same time, pulling the right sitting bone down toward the heel.
Pull the pubic bone up and lean back. Pull the shoulders up and then back towards the spine. Lift your chin to let the neck grow long. Lift up both arms and hook the thumbs together. Straighten the arms and slowly lean your head back against your arms and breathe.
Maintain this pose for a few breaths before slowly releasing it on an exhale. Transition into Downward-Facing Dog and step the left foot forward to repeat this Low Lunge variation on the opposite side.
Extend the arms and lean back in Low Lunge.
Neck Side Bend And Rotation
To begin this yoga exercise, you can decide to stand or sit on the mat. Then proceed by tilting your neck to the left. This is a way to stretch your neck to rid it of any pain.
After holding this position for few seconds, roll your head in a counterclockwise position towards your right shoulder and pause for some seconds.
Then bend it again to where you started from to complete the rotation. You can repeat this yoga exercise for few times.
Combat Tech Neck Heres How
Obviously, the more the head weighs, the more strain it causes in the surrounding muscles and the body as a whole. The best way to counter the effects of tech neck is to minimize them in the first place. Try your best to hold your devices at head-level and keep your spine in a neutral position when looking at any screens.
But, when you’re already feeling the pain of poor posture in your body, luckily yoga can help!
Modify Your Practice For Shoulder Pain And Shoulder Injuries
Have you ever had to modify your practice for an injury?
Taking care of your body doesn’t always mean putting your asana practice on hold. Use these suggestions to modify your class or home practice if you have shoulder pain or any shoulder injuries.
Let us know how it goes in the comments below!
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.
Yoga Poses To Avoid With Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you should avoid poses that can potentially cause any flare ups. For some, this may include poses that require you to balance on one foot or bend your joints, such as your knees, more than 90 degrees. For others, it may be challenging to hold postures for extended periods of time.
Some yoga types, such as or Ananda, may involve lengthy meditation or breathing exercises that could be difficult for someone with arthritis to sit through.
Keep in mind, there are a ton of different forms of arthritis and they often have slightly different treatments. The asanas I’d recommended for those with osteoarthritis are different from the poses I’d recommend for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Holding poses for a long time to strengthen static muscles is great for osteoarthritis. On the other hand, for rheumatoid arthritis you don’t want to be holding poses for that long. People with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis should avoid high-intensity yoga postures, and prolonged immobility in seated or lying positions.
Now before I get into the poses, remember: arthritis is no joke. Even with these yoga pose suggestions, it’s super important to learn and practice them under the supervision and guidance of a yoga instructor or a yoga therapist.
Best Poses For A Healing Yoga Sequence
When creating a yoga sequence for clients with neck pain or shoulder pain, certain poses provide more benefit. Some of these yoga poses provide relief by strengthening the neck or shoulders. Others work by easing shoulder or neck tension. Here are some of the most effective poses to include in your client’s healing yoga therapy plan.
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Science Shows Yoga Beneficial For Relief Of Chronic Pain
When a client experiences neck and shoulder pain, physical therapy may provide relief. Studies also indicate that yoga can help.
For example, in 2017, researchers conducted a review of three studies involving 188 patients. Each patient had chronic, non-specific neck pain. Engaging in yoga provided participants short-term relief. It also improved their mood and quality of life.
An earlier study looked at yoga’s impact on both neck and shoulder pain. Published in 1990, this revealed that three weeks of hatha yoga provided a “significant decrease” in pain in both areas. It reduced anxiety as well.
A 2010 study explains that yoga helps ease pain in many ways. One is that it reduces muscle tension via a “relaxation response.” It also positively impacts the hyperarousal of the nervous system.
Because yoga strengthens the upper body, it can reduce pain this way as well. Stronger muscles are better able to support the spine. This reduces the risk of neck and shoulder pain by improving poor posture. It also lowers injury risk due to weak muscles.
Yoga Poses To Open The Front Body
Opening up the front body can help to improve posture and therefore ease neck and shoulder pain. That’s why a yoga practice for the upper back should always also include front-opening exercises.
To prepare the body and the mind for the practice ahead, start in an upright seat and press the hips back a little to create a slight concave curve in the lower back and straighten the spine. Place the hands on the thighs with the palms facing upwards. Press the chest right up and pull the elbows in towards the body. Lift the chin slightly and create space and a feeling of lightness in the chest to let the breath flow slowly and steadily.
Low Lunge With Side Bend
Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Lift the right leg up and step the right foot forward between the hands. Place the left knee on the ground and rise up into a Low Lunge. Place the left hand onto the back of the head, pull the elbow in and then lean into a side bend to the right. Place the right hand to the ground further out to the right and slightly back. Go into a backbend and lift the left knee off the ground.
Transition back into Downward-Facing Dog after a few breaths and repeat this Low Lunge variation on the opposite side.
Combine Low Lunge with a side bend.
What Causes A Tight Neck And Shoulder Condition
These problems are caused when the muscles in your neck and shoulder have been overused, overstretched, or strained for long periods. Conversely, they also occur when you don’t exercise or stretch these muscles for long periods by doing yoga for tense neck and shoulders or other exercises. Here are some reasons why we experience tight neck and shoulders:One of the most common reasons is the sheer amount of time that we all are spending indoors in front of our computers in improper posture. Prolonged periods of stress that release cortisol and epinephrine hormones result in tightening of the muscles. This in turn leads to tension in the neck and shoulders.Turning your neck or the head repeatedly causes stiffness and pain. This is more common in swimmers.Injuries due to accidents or while playing impact sports.Poor sleeping positions like sleeping on the stomach or using a high pillow.Poor posture i.e. slouching or hunching while working or driving and constantly looking down at the cell phone causes the neck and shoulders to bend.Conditions like arthritis or cervical spondylitis cause tightness in the neck and shoulder, especially when a person stays in the same position for a long time.Meningitis, which causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord coverings, is also a reason for tightness in the neck and shoulders. Carrying heavy bags or purses for prolonged periods.
Hand Clasp Behind Back
Another beginner pose, this is extremely good for people with tight shoulders or any kind of pain in the shoulder blades. Simply put, you stand upright and interlock your hands behind your back, then straighten your arms as far as you can while gripping tight. For an extra stretch to your neck while doing this, tuck your chin into your chest as hard as you can.
You can adjust this pose depending on the severity of the tension on your shoulders by simply gripping harder or softer.
What Exactly Is Causing Your Neck Pain
When you glance down at your device, your weight follows the line of your gaze. Your head angles forward, putting strain on the upper back and causing your shoulders and thoracic spine to round forward to compensate.
This, in turn, displaces extra weight to your hips, which are then forced to compensate by lessening the curvature of your lower back. As one small movement leads to another, your entire body is found in misalignment and, inevitably, pain ensues.
According to a recent study, in a neutral position, an adult head weighs roughly 10-12 pounds.
Yet when compiled with the force of gravity, if the head is moved out of neutral alignment and tilted forward by just 15 degrees, its weight skyrockets to 27 pounds. At 30 degrees, it weighs in at 40 pounds, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and an astonishing 60 pounds at a 60-degree tilt.
When To See A Doctor
If you’ve taken steps to relieve neck pain and it’s not getting better, or if your pain becomes worse or severe, see your doctor. Neck pain that’s accompanied by numbness, loss of strength in the arms or hands, or a throbbing pain in the shoulder or under the arm are also signs you should see your doctor.
Your doctor can help to determine if there are any underlying reasons for the pain. They may recommend a certain treatment program that you should follow. They may also refer you to a physical therapist.
A Brief Glance At The Shoulders
Since the shoulders are ball-and-socket joints, they are one of the most mobile joints in our bodies. This ball-and-socket structure allows many different types of movement but also means the joint is at higher risk for injury.
For shoulder injuries there are two main concerns:
First, you have to take note on where your sore shoulder stands on those fronts. Usually, the shoulder feels discomfort if the arm is raised above the head and if it bears weight.
This affects Downward Facing Dog as well as standing postures in which your arms are lifted, such as Warrior II and Urdhva Hastasana . More obviously, arm balances will likely be too risky with shoulder injuries. But, don’t feel discouraged! Yoga has the power to heal.
So, learning some easy ways to modify postures that come up frequently in class means that you can stay with your practice on the mat and take care of your injury.
Can Yoga Ease Neck And Shoulder Pain
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The reasons for tension and pain in neck and shoulders are manifold: Whether you’re stressed, you were too ambitions in your last workout, or you just slept funny. However, the main culprit is our modern lifestyle: We all spend far too much time sitting nowadays.
The human body wasn’t made for sitting for 8-10 hours every day. What usually happens when you spend too much time sitting is that the muscles in the front body shorten and those in the back body become weak. Yoga can help you to lengthen the front body and tone the back body so that you can find a more upright posture.
In this article, you will learn:
Stress is one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctor. Photograph by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash.
Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain has many different causes, but not all of them would benefit from the immediate practice of yoga. Always talk to your doctor before attempting an exercise program. For example, yoga may only hurt shoulder pain due to fractures, dislocation, and some tendon and ligament damage. Instead, these may benefit from a brief period of rest during the acute injury phase.
In rare cases where shoulder pain is a sign of heart attack, the issue may resolve itself when the underlying causes of heart attack are addressed.
That being said, yoga poses for shoulder pain can be very effective for the following causes of shoulder pain:
- Tendon sheath inflammation: Improper lubrication in the tendon sheath can lead to friction, pain, and inflammation
- Rotator cuff injuries and tears: Tendons, ligaments, or muscles are strained, torn, or otherwise injured
- Adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder syndrome: Scar tissue develops as a result of injury or disuse, limiting mobility and range of motion
- : This widespread pain condition has four pain points in the body located in the area of the shoulders
- : An autoimmune disorder where the body attacks healthy tissues, lupus causes widespread inflammation and pain
- Neck pain: Created by a culture of head forward movement, neck pain can quickly lead to shoulder pain
- Mouse shoulder: A repetitive motion injury whereby the small muscles are fatigued by the common motion of the mouse, forcing larger muscles to take over and become strained
Threading The Needle Pose
- Get on your knees and hands, and place your left hand on the center of the mat beneath your chest
- Breathe in while you stretch out the right hand up to one side, breathe out as you string the right hand right underneath the left arm.
- Lower the external part of the right shoulder along with the right ear on the yoga mat. Hold your hips high while doing so.
- You can either keep your left hand on the tangle before your face or fix your left arm and stretch it up overhead with the palm on the tangle . Hold and relax for 5 long full breaths. Switch sides.
Easy Yoga Stretches For Neck And Shoulder Pain
Can’t concentrate on your work due to unbearable shoulder pain?
If you struggle with regular shoulders pain or stiff and tense neck, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In this hectic modern lifestyle, it is not rare to see even young adults complaining about the problems like neck and shoulder pain.
Yoga can definitely help you ease out your shoulder pain if you do the poses correctly. But do you know what are the best yoga poses for shoulder pain?
Before we move on to the stretches for neck and shoulder pain, you must have a look at the primary causes of shoulder pain.
These causes develop pain in your neck and then it extends to shoulder and then back. Sometimes neck pain can also lead to headaches.
Use Props And Modifications
There’s no shame in not being ready to hold a pose completely on your own. If there’s tightness somewhere in your body, other parts of you will have to accommodate it, Livingston says, which is why it’s so important not to push your body past what it’s able to do on a given day.
Props and allow your body to get a feel for a pose and gradually work up to its full variation without injury. It’s never a bad idea to grab a blanket and a couple of blocks at the beginning of class, and maybe even a strap for supine postures.
What Is Yoga For Tense Neck And Shoulders
for tense neck and shoulders are asanas or poses that are targeted towards the spine since our neck and shoulders are connected to the spinal area. Yoga for neck and shoulders works towards creating flexibility in the spine and breathwork that helps you calm your mind by relieving you of pain and stress. Yoga for stiff shoulders and neck also targets the muscles in your neck and shoulders by stretching and strengthening them helping in easing their natural movements and enhancing your ability to work and do other activities without straining these areas.
The Forward Fold And Wide
- Stand straight and then step your left foot back by about 3 feet. Turn the feet in slightly and press against the mat to straighten the legs out.
- Wrap your arms behind you and intertwine the fingers and breathe in while you lean forward. Lengthen the spinal cord and exhale while folding forward from the crease of the hip.
- Bend your head down towards the yoga mat and stretch out your hands overhead.
- Maintain the straightened pose of the legs and hold the position for about five long and deep breaths.
- Lie down on the belly and wrap the arms behind you with your fingers intertwined.
- Lift your chest, shoulders, and head up and off the mat while breathing in deeply.
- Draw your arms backward while opening your chest and shoulders.
- Keep on drawing the arms towards your feet. You may either maintain this pose or lift your legs for an advanced variation of this pose.
- Hold the pose for about five long and deep breaths.
Top Yoga Poses For Arthritis
These yoga postures will help you manage the symptoms of arthritis. Because everyone experiences arthritis a little differently, some with pain in their wrists and others with pain in their feet, it’s important to pay attention to your body’s signals in these postures. If anything feels uncomfortable or painful, try the variation. If that is still uncomfortable, then skip the pose.
Yoga Poses To Relieve Neck Pain
The following seven yoga poses and yoga-inspired positions are helpful to stretch and strengthen the muscles in and around the neck that tend to be either contracted or elongated when we move our necks out of neutral alignment.
Try to practice each pose with mindfulness and only move within your own limits. Consistency and patience are key factors to reducing the pain from tech neck, so take it slow.
Shoulder Tendinitis Or Bursitis
Tendons are strong fibers that attach muscles to your bone. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that prevent friction at joints.
Inflammation of the tendons and the bursa are common causes of shoulder pain, but pain can occur anywhere that inflammation occurs.
The tendons and bursa around your rotator cuff are especially prone to inflammation that causes pain and stiffness around your shoulder.
Yoga Poses For Shoulder Pain
You don’t need to commit to 24 sun salutations a day to experience the benefits of yoga for shoulder pain. Here are 11 stretching and strengthening moves to gradually heal your shoulder pain.
Please note that exercises should be done on both sides to maintain balance in the body. If you’re unsure of how to do these poses, attend a class for more hands-on guidance.
Cross Body Shoulder Stretch
Another classic stretch, this pose is wonderful for releasing tension in your shoulder muscles– especially when a yoga breathing pattern is incorporated. Muscle tension in the deltoids and triceps are a common reason for your shoulders/trapezius clenching together, and this pose can aid in releasing the entire system.
As always, start off in a comfortable upright seated position, and gently pull your arm across your body until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold this stretch for at least 3 breaths , then release, and switch to the other shoulder. This is an easy pose to do anytime during the day , since you can do it from almost anywhere and it brings near instant relief.
Precautions To Keep In Mind
To savor the benefits of Yoga for frozen shoulder and pain, you should keep the following points in mind.
- Warming up with free hand exercise before the yoga session is of utmost importance
- Align the shoulders properly before you practice any posture which involves pressure upon the shoulders
- Follow the gentle and restorative yoga asanas for the alleviation of shoulder pain. Do not apply too much pressure on the joints. Such pressure can aggravate the pain and result in chronic injuries
- Hold the torso firm and steady during the yoga for neck and shoulder pain by broadening the shoulder blades
We rarely think twice before popping into the doctor’s chamber and then bombarding our body with painkillers and harsh chemicals. But did you know that yoga for shoulder pain is not only more effective for the natural alleviation of pain in the shoulder joints and shoulder blades but is utterly and devoid of harmful side effects?
Yoga is incredibly useful for physical and mental health as well. It is a holistic approach that rejuvenates the body and heals the pain by working at the root of it. Embrace the goodness of yoga for shoulder pain and lead a healthy life.