Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose
This twist stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips.
Adho Mukha Svanasana : Deeply Stretching The Back Shoulders And Legs
This position should be done with the head resting on a support and the chin moving towards the chest to elongate the neck. If possible, use the resistance of a belt secured to door handles, or a partner and a belt at the top of the thighs to bring the spine into more release. Begin on hands and knees as you exhale, turn the toes under and lift the sit bones, straightening the legs and arms. Press your hands into the ground as the base of the spine moves diagonally up. The weight of the head will create a stretch in the neck. Watch that the ribs do not sink down lift them to create a space between the shoulder blades and to avoid jamming the spine. Come down on an exhalation.
Exercise For The Management And Treatment Of Cervicogenic Headache: A Narrative Review
Regret for the inconvenience: we are taking measures to prevent fraudulent form submissions by extractors and page crawlers. Please type the correct Captcha word to see email ID.
1Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Gusau, Nigeria2Department of Biological Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria
Correspondence: Muhammad Ali, Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Gusau, Nigeria, Tel +2347032967252
Citation: Ali M, Nas FS. Exercise for the management and treatment of cervicogenic headache: a narrative review. MOJ Yoga Physical Ther. 2018 3:85-88. DOI: 10.15406/mojypt.2018.03.00050
Read Also: How Tight Should Workout Leggings Be
Yoga Poses To Reduce Tension Headaches
- For Active.com
If you’re prone to headaches, you probably know some of the triggers: Stress, lack of sleep, hunger, allergies, sinus problems or eye strain. But have you considered that your posture, and a lack of oxygen, could bring on your headaches?
Many people sit or stand with rounded shoulders and head jutted forward. Poor posture affects your respiratory system and blood circulation to the brain which can cause muscle tensionresulting in a headache.
If your headaches arise from tension, then you might want to consider yoga.
Yoga helps ease tension headaches by relaxing muscles in your head, back, and neck, boosting circulation to your brain and upper body, and improving your posture.
The best time to treat a headache is at the first sign of the pain, before the muscles go into spasm. To reduce the amount of headaches you experience, incorporate the following yoga poses into your daily routine.
- Sit straight on the edge of a chair.
- Plant the feet firmly on the floor.
- Press the buttocks down into the chair seat.
- Cross your right leg on top of your left at the knee.
- Take your right arm to the back of the chair and your left hand to your right knee.
- Turn from the belly to the right on the exhalation.
- Keep your shoulders down and your chest open.
- Relax your eyes, jaw and tongue.
- Hold for 10 seconds breathing evenly.
- Return to center and repeat on the opposite side.
Ditch The Panadol And Roll Out Your Yoga Mat
These poses are more for prevention and should be done daily if you get daily headaches. If you need to take pain killers, go for it but theyre just a band-aid, prevention is much better.
1. Get upside down either in Uttanasana or Wide-leg standing forward fold. The leg position is just a personal preference, but the goal here is to decompress your upper back and neck. Do this for 20 deep breaths and really let your head hand and your neck relax. This is not recommended for pregnant people and if you feel dizzy, come out sooner.
2. Neck stretches. Gently drop one ear to the shoulder and reach out with the opposite hand to feel the stretch into the whole neck and upper arm. Be gentle, but hold this pose for 30 breaths.
3. Shoulder release. You can do Eagle Arms , Cow Face Arms or interlace your fingers behind your back and open the chest.
Also Check: Yoga Ball During Labor
Yoga For Neck And Shoulder Pain Relief
To begin reconditioning the body with better posture, start by finding more mobility in the neck and shoulders. This helps loosen up the muscles, thus relieving tension, and with consistency of practice, will lead to a greater range of motion. Having more range of motion and strength in the muscles are keys to creating good posture to support the body. Before jumping into any deep stretches in this area, start by working out a little tension and creating a little space with simple warm ups. An easy way to warm up the area is to take a minute or two doing some gentle neck and shoulder rolls. Take semi-circles with the neck, leading the motion from the tip of your nose in order to protect the neck from hyper-extension. Hunch the shoulders up and down and alternate rolling them forward and then backward. Keep in mind that you can always incorporate this into postures like Cat and Cow, Downward Facing Dog, Reverse Prayer, or any stabilized posture that allows you to safely find organic movement in your neck and shoulders. If you spend many hours at a desk, computer, in a vehicle, etc., try giving yourself some moments throughout the day to open this space a little. It will relieve tension and allow the body to release stress and pain.
Ear To Shoulder/neck Rolls
Probably the most popular and well known stretch for relieving neck tension, the yoga equivalent takes it a little bit further. First, make sure youre in a comfortable seat with your hands resting on your knees. Sit upright and relax your shoulders, and push your chin against your chest to straighten your spine. Next, gently roll your head to the right or left until your ear touches your shoulder – use one hand to push your head, and the other to slowly push your opposite shoulder in the other direction.
Slowly roll your head back to the center and then repeat on the opposite side. Youll immediately start to feel the muscles in your neck being stretched, which will feel quite nice if youre stiff.
This is an extremely delicate stretch that doesn’t require a serious amount of pressure – the opposing stressors and the sensitivity of neck and shoulders muscles will make you feel it right away.
Read Also: Hot Yoga After Botox
Relieve Your Tension Headache After A Dumb Day At Work
Tiffany Cruikshank: Try This – Yoga block for the neck.
- Copy Link URLCopied!
You know that blinding tension headache you get after a long, annoying day at the office?
Yoga Medicine founder Tiffany Cruikshank says this stretch is a nice, quick fix.
What it does
Activates a series of trigger points along the back of the neck that contribute to tension headaches. Also good for just relaxing the neck, shoulders and upper back.
What to do
Place a yoga mat or blanket down on the floor, someplace quiet where you wont be disturbed. Lie down, and place a yoga block on its side, just beneath your head, and then play with positioning: You want the head and the base of the skull to rest on the block.
From here, let gravity do the work for you, Cruikshank says. Breathe slowly, deeply as you relax into the position, imagining your neck draping toward the floor. Youll also feel the muscles start to relax and unravel.
You can enhance the stretch by gently turning your head to the right, just as far as is comfortable, and resting there for a few deep breaths before returning to center. Repeat on the left side.
A few minutes at the end of a long, hard day is all you need.
Go online to see Cruikshank demonstrate this move at latimes.com/TryThis, where youll also find more videos from top health and fitness experts.
Potential Causes Of Neck Pain
According to the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, there are four main types of conservatively managed neck pain:
- Neck pain with mobility deficits: This is a stiff neck a person experiences after straining the neck muscles when sleeping in the wrong position or lifting heavy weights.
- Neck pain with movement coordination impairments: This includes whiplash and neck pain that occurs after a person has been sitting at a desk in the wrong position for too long.
- Neck pain with headaches: This type of pain includes neck pain with headaches toward the back of the head.
- Neck pain with radiating pain: This includes neck pain due to spinal stenosis, a slipped â or herniated â cervical disc, or cervical nerve compression.
Stretching the neck may help a person relieve muscle tension and improve their range of motion. Below, we list examples of exercises that are best for neck pain with mobility deficits.
Read Also: How Long To Hold Yoga Poses
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.
Tadasana : Discovering Alignment And Finding The Center
Standing upright with awareness is one basic way to discover your own unique posture. It is difficult to correct something until you have found out what is really there. Use the wall to identify your alignment, and then practice standing in the center of the room.
Stand with your back to the wall, with your feet together. If that is uncomfortable, separate the feet three or four inches. Plant the feet firmly, feeling the ground with the soles of the feet. Check the distribution of weight between the right foot and the left. Move front, back, and side-to-side on your feet to find the most balanced stance. Make sure that the arch of each foot is lifted, the toes spread apart. The placement of your feet becomes the foundation of your awareness of your whole body. Give yourself enough time to explore and discover how you are actually standing.
Read Also: What To Wear To Yoga Class
Setu Bandha : Actively Opening The Chest
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Roll the shoulders under and reach the hands towards the feet, keeping the little finger side of the hands on the floor. On the exhalation, raise the buttocks, lifting the sternum towards the chin. Elongate the back of the neck without pushing it into the floor you want the neck to stretch, not flatten. Interlocking the fingers on the ground under the back helps to roll the shoulder blades under and is an interesting variation. Relax the facial muscles and jaw, breathe deeply, and come down on an exhalation. This pose is not appropriate during the second half of pregnancy, or if you have been diagnosed with spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis.
See also QUIZ: How Does Your Stress Manifest?
Yoga For Upper Back And Neck Pain
For upper back and neck pain, especially pain coming from posture, finding that happy balance between flexibility and strength is key. There are many postures that give us the option to explore these benefits in a way that meets us wherever we are in our practice, whether weve just begun our first yoga classes, or were half-way to enlightenment. Cobra and Childs Pose are two of my favorites that offer this range of depth.Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana, is practiced on the floor, so right from the get-go we have the benefit of the ground right below us supporting this posture. The movement of Cobra stretches from the lower abs and hip flexors to the chest, the upper back and into the neck. By pushing into the earth and keeping the elbows tucked close to the body, we build strength in the muscles of our arms, back and chest and shoulders. This baby backbend is so good for opening and strengthening the upper body.Counter your Cobra Pose with restorative Childs Pose, Balasana. This is a very gentle, semi-inversion that lowers the heart rate and calms the nervous system, allowing the mind to become calm and the body to relax. Not a bad complement to relieving painful tension. For an active experience in this posture, keep the arms lifted away from the ground and breath deeply, extending from the tailbone to the crown of the head.
Also Check: How Tight Should Leggings Be
Other Ways To Improve Neck Pain
Poor posture is a common cause of muscle strains in the neck. It can worsen an existing injury and increase the likelihood of another one.
Using a computer or phone for extended periods can lead to forward head posture, where the head projects forward from the spine. This can trigger symptoms such as dull pain across the back or sides of the neck that may spread to the upper back, shoulders, and head.
If a person adjusts their posture, they may reduce neck, back, and shoulder pain.
When seated, a person should aim to keep the head in line with the spine and avoid slouching. It may help to adjust the screen to eye level when using a computer.
When standing, a person should keep the shoulders, neck, and spine aligned to achieve the correct posture. They should avoid tilting the head forward.
Sleeping on the stomach can also cause neck problems. A person can try to sleep on the back or on one side with a pillow between the knees. They can also use a supportive pillow to keep the neck aligned with the spine.
Other ways to improve neck pain include:
- applying hot or cold packs
- taking anti-inflammatory medications
- using support, such as a neck brace
- resting to avoid excessive strain
Turn Head Side To Side
This is great to improve your neck mobility, especially if you feel stiff when turning your head from left to right.
How to: Begin by standing straight. Turn your head to the right and look over your right shoulder until you no longer can then hold this position for 10 seconds. Return to facing forward then repeat on the left side. Repeat this sequence 3 times on each side.
Read Also: Yoga Class Attire
Migraine Causes Severe Headache And It Can Interfere With Your Daily Routine Here Are Some Yoga Asanas To Treat Migraine Headache Without Side Effects
Migraine can be described as a neurological disorder, which can cause severe headache on both sides or just one side of your head. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, pain in the eyes, temporary loss of vision, vomiting and seeing spots of flash lights. It is triggered by factors like stress, loud noise, hormonal changes and some foods. It is usually treated with prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines but they can lead to side effects. So, if you are looking for a treatment for migraine without side effects, then try yoga. Here are five asanas that will relieve migraine headache. Practice these asanas in the morning and try to do three to four repetitions. .Also Read – COVID-19: Understanding Why The Delta Variant Spread So Quickly
Simple Seated Twist: Relieving Strain In The Back Rotating And Stretching The Neck
Sit on the chair, feet firmly on the ground, sitting bones pressing down, sides of the torso extended. On the exhalation, reach around and take your right arm to the back of the chair and your left hand to your right knee. Extend the back of your head up and make sure the head is on the midline. Turn on the exhalation, breathing low into the belly, then into the chest. Lastly, turn the head and eyes. Remember to keep the shoulders down, the chest open, and the shoulder blade tips in. Center the movement below the navel and in the belly relax the eyes, jaw, and tongue.
Don’t Miss: How Is Yoga A Sin
Minute Restorative Yoga Flow For Neck Pain And Headaches
This restorative flow for neck pain and headaches will cover a sequence of seven poses that will leave you feeling open and relieved in your neck and shoulders. These poses focus on opening through the upper back and neck in order to release tension and pain. These stretches can accommodate any level of practice from beginner to advanced yogi. This flow is perfect for relieving pain from poor posture, time spent over a desk or device, and residual soreness from other physical activities. For those suffering from chronic pain in the neck and shoulders, practicing this sequence daily will maximize the benefits of the postures. No props are needed for this sequence and its perfect for practicing anytime, anywhere!