November 16, 2011

Yoga Exercises for Shoulder Pain – Relief and Treatment

Posted in Category : Yogic Cures for Diseases

Shoulder pain is a common problem among the urban population, attributed to lack of physical exercise, unhealthy dietary patterns, and sedentary lifestyles. Some of the causes of shoulder pain are rotator cuff tears (tendons of the rotator cuff get disjointed from the bone), frozen shoulders or stiffness of shoulder bones, calcific tendonitis (deposition of calcium on tendons, especially that of the rotator cuff), loose joint and shoulder instability, labral tears, shoulder dislocations, arthritis, and bicep tendon ruptures. One of the best remedies for this shoulder pain is to practice yoga and shoulder exercises. Some of the useful shoulder exercises and yoga poses for shoulder pain are listed as under:

  • Matsyaasana (Fish Pose): Lie down on the floor with your arms on the sides and legs folded or bent with feet on the floor. Stretch your legs out and place your palms on the buttocks. Now slowly inhale while raising your back up, so that your head lightly rests on the floor. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and then exhale while returning to normal position. This is an effective shoulder pain yoga pose.
  • Shoulder Shrugs: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-distance apart, and then bend the knees as much as possible. Try to raise your shoulders up towards the ears while inhaling; hold the pose for a few seconds. Return to normal state while exhaling. Similarly, move your shoulders backwards while inhaling, hold the pose, and return to normal state while exhaling.
  • Garudasana (Eagle Arms Pose): Stand straight with feet wide apart and knees slightly bent. Now, raise your arms to shoulder height and cross them in front of you at the elbows. Next, move your forearms such that your fingers are pointing toward the ceiling; your arms should still be bent at the elbows. Next, interlock your wrists and clasp your hands together such that your palms are facing each other. Now, breathe out while gently lowering your elbows. Keep your fingers in line with your nose. Repeat the pose a few times, alternating your initial arms.

Yoga for Neck and Shoulders

As neck and shoulder pain are caused by similar genre of strains and movements, there are some common remedies for neck and shoulder pain relief. Some of the poses of yoga for shoulder and neck pain are listed as under:

  • Chin-to-chest Pose: Inhale, and while exhaling, lower your head towards the chest. This would stretch the muscles of neck, relieving the stiffness and ultimately soreness in the area.
  • Ear-to-shoulder Pose: Inhale and while slowly exhaling, bend your neck on the left side in an attempt for left ear to touch the left shoulder. Hold the pose (the ear and shoulder cannot touch each other, unless you raise your shoulder; the latter is restricted as part of this yoga pose) and return back to normal state. Repeat the pose with right part of the body.

Other exercises for neck pain relief are neck rolls and shoulder circles. These are similar to the poses above, and involve similar breathing patterns. These were some of the poses in hatha yoga for neck and shoulder pain. Hatha yoga refers to a combination of physical movements or asanas and breathing exercises or pranayama. Yoga is one of the best ways to manage shoulder and neck pain. However, the yoga poses should be performed under the guidance of an expert or trainer. Yoga, if performed without expert guidance, may lead to adverse effects, which, in turn, may aggravate the pain in neck and shoulder. Hence, it is best to must consult a yoga trainer for expert advice on yoga poses and other aspects of yoga for neck and shoulder pain.