Updated: Feb 4, 2021
Nowadays, hectic lifestyle, wrong posture, long hours behind the desk and sedentary lifestyle with prolonged sitting time in the same position without proper daily exercise routine, are all causing bad effects on our health. All aspects of wellbeing are being affected- social, mental, emotional, physical. Neck, back and shoulders, in particular, are the most suffering from our surfing on computers and smartphones for long time. Yoga can help immensely in managing cervical spondylosis.
Cervical Spondylosis, also called cervical osteoarthritis is a common age-related condition that affects the joints and disks in the cervical spine. The condition develops from the wear and tear of cartilage and bones. In many cases abnormal growths of the vertebrae are observed. With time, these changes can compress one or more of the spinal nerve roots causing pain.
Chronic neck pain is also sometimes associated with anxiety and depression which may also need to be treated.
Cervical spondylosis can develop due to the following reasons:
Job-related activities, putting pressure on the neck, such as heavy lifting;
Poor posture while working or sitting, especially prolonged hours in from of laptops, phones and other device;
Keeping the neck in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time or repeating the same neck movements over and over again, putting repetitive stress in the area;
Family history of cervical spondylosis;
Being overweight and inactive;
Being a smoker increases the degenerative processes in the body;
Stress and anxiety tend to tighten the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
Pain along the arm and fingers increasing when- standing, sitting, sneezing, coughing or tilting the neck backwards;
Stiffness in the neck & shoulder blades;
Headaches in the back of the head
Shoulder stiffness that may extend to the chest;
Sometimes (if pinched nerve) numbness in the hands & legs
Loss of balance
In rare cases, loss of bladder or bowel control
Dizziness & Vertigo
There are many aspects of the yogic therapy for cervical spondylosis. Below, we will present only few lifestyle tips, simple yoga stretches, asanas and pranayamas. When done regularly, one can experience pain relief quickly.
Book yoga therapy sessions for cervical spondylosis, specially designed for you.
Always be aware of your posture while doing your normal daily activities.
Every 30 min. take a break from using devices, change your position and do some stretches.
Avoid sharp movements and exercise that involves sharp movements.
Heat the painful area.
Choose the right pillow and mattress.
Gentle exercise help recovery process.
3-4 times a day stretch the neck and shoulder muscles.
Neck & Shoulders Stretches
Make sure that stretching is not increasing the pain. One should start gradually with gentle movements. You can do the stretches sitting if standing doesn't feel right.
Lift and relax your shoulders, rotate your shoulders (Clockwise and anticlockwise). Elbows touching in front (while exhaling) and back (while inhaling).
Sit with straight spine and try to elongate your neck keeping your hands down. In this position you can do equal breathing, intercostal breathing or clavicular breathing.
Look up and Rotate your neck from left to right and then from right to left, very slowly and smoothly without jerks. Turn your head to right. Repeat the same on left side. Bend your head towards the right shoulder, then to the left one.
Eye exercises for counteracting screen looking- Look at a close object e.g.-you can look at your fingers and then try to focus your gaze on trees at a distance. This helps to relax the optics nerves. Look up, then down. Look to the side, then change. Roll your eyes in each direction. Repeat few times.
Neck and upper-body side twists. (Both Sides) While exhaling twist of right side and repeat the same on left side.
Asana & Pranayama
-Matsyasana (fish pose) offers strength and spinal flexibility for the benefit of the complete vertebral column. Long hours of sitting in front of the computer or continuously scrolling the phone causes tension in the neck and shoulders. This pose is very helpful to relieve such stiffness.
-In bhujangasana (cobra pose) the backward bending of the spine helps improve flexibility. It is a good posture to remove tension from both neck and shoulder regions.
-All relaxation poses and meditation help to relieve stress symptoms and tension. (Savasana, Makarasana etc.)
-Simple pranayama techniques are proven for managing various conditions including cervical spondylosis.