Yoga is alternately prescribed to people with neck pain to relieve stiffness, restore normal function and strengthen the area of the neck. Yoga can also be used to treat cervical disc disease, an abnormality in one or more discs that cause neck pain. A yoga expert attempts to eliminate neck pain discomfort through Hatha Yoga poses. The Hatha Yoga establishes the mind-body-breath connection to relieve pain in the neck and boost pain perception and pain threshold so that the practitioner has better ability to deal with it.

Since Yoga postures require isometric contraction of neck muscle groups to stabilize it, certain Yoga poses are helpful for improving muscular strength and relieve neck pain.

The psychosocial benefits associated with Yoga are also important for neck pain management. Various research studies hint that practicing yoga prevents changes in brain structure that are linked to anxiety, depression and impaired cognitive function. With Pranayama, the calming effect of Yoga may lessen perceived stress, enhance relaxation and sleep. This helps neck recover soon from minor pain. Just like Physical Therapy, Yoga for Neck Pain has to be individualized to offer best results.  

How does Yoga for neck pain work?

Bad postures and professions that require sitting for long hours cause strain in neck muscles resulting in Cervicalgia. Recurrent neck pain can also be accompanied by stiff joints, upper back pain or shoulder blade pain. Additionally, long-stored physiological tension can contribute to a mild stiff neck or a full-blown muscle spasm of the neck.

Yoga poses that focus on neck flexibility and stretching can smoothen the range of motion in affected cervical (neck) joints, and consequentially relieve the stiffness that complements neck pain. Certain Yoga poses that help an individual maintain improved posture and increase blood flow to the neck muscles can also be included in the yoga program.

Commonly prescribed Yoga poses for neck pain

Certain yoga poses help the sufferer stretch and strengthen his neck by correcting his posture. Child Pose, Reclining Twist, Extended Triangle Pose, Cat Pose, Legs-up-the-wall Pose and Corpse Pose are among commonly prescribed yoga poses that have therapeutic effects on the neck.

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Depending on the specific diagnosis and pain severity, a yoga expert may prescribe a combination of neck stretching exercises, deep tissue massage, cold/heat application along with these Yoga poses. One should follow the suggested Asanas for at least 6 to 8 weeks to help prevent neck pain from returning.  

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