Yoga is emerging as a therapeutic method to treat Shoulder Pain. Yoga for shoulder pain aims at promoting shoulder flexibility and relaxing tight, painful muscles associated with the shoulder. Generally, the Hatha Yoga poses are prescribed to address strength and mobility issues to relieve pain in the shoulder. Since Hatha Yoga postures require isometric contraction of muscle groups to stabilize the shoulder, these are helpful for improving muscle coordination and relieving shoulder pain.
Practicing Yoga has also been shown to reduce shoulder pain perception. This suggests that yoga may have a neuroprotective effect as various studies exhibit that there is a significant increase in pain tolerance and change in pain thresholds in the yoga practitioners.
Just like Physical Therapy, Yoga Therapy for Shoulder Pain requires to be individualized for best results.
How does Yoga for shoulder pain work?
Pinching of the Rotator Cuff, Frozen Shoulder, Biceps Tendons, Shoulder Bursitis, poor sitting posture or falling on an outstretched arm are the common causes of chronic shoulder pain. Yoga therapy may be recommended to promote better shoulder mobility and treat Frozen Shoulder.
Since the shoulder is made up of the Humerus (arm bone), the Scapula (shoulder blade) and the Clavicle (collar bone), Hatha Yoga poses that help improves the range of motion and improve the strength of shoulder muscles are prescribed.
Interestingly, shoulder work is a foundation for nearly all Hatha Yoga poses. Since tightness in the upper chest muscles pulls the shoulders forward and down, performing Asanas that release the tension in these muscles help practitioner relieve shoulder pain.
Commonly prescribed Yoga poses for Shoulder pain
Improved shoulder and spinal flexibility support a more upright posture. Asanas such as Utkatasana (Chair Pose), modified Navasana (Boat Pose), or variations of Salabhasana (Locust) strengthen the core and aid in countering the rounding shoulders thus relieving shoulder pain. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose, variation) and Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) are commonly prescribed to sufferers with minor shoulder pain.