Yoga for Whiplash

Submitted by debabrat on January 15, 2013

Whiplash is a surprisingly common injury that usually occurs as a result of an automobile accident or any sudden movements. It refers to the condition where the soft tissues, muscles and ligaments around the neck are injured. This normally happens when there is a sudden jerky movement of the body (what happens during a car crash or even during an amusement park ride).



The soft tissue of the spine is stretched beyond its limits during this abrupt acceleration and deceleration of the body and severe neck pain can result. Experts address the problem of whiplash with rest and medication followed by a series of rehabilitative exercises. Gentle stretches and movements of the neck and shoulders are suggested to improve eye-head-neck co-ordination and rebuild the strength of the damaged tissues and muscles.

Benefits of Yoga for Whiplash

One of the best ways to heal whiplash is with yoga. Certain yoga poses can reduce stiffness of the neck muscles and decrease chronic pain. When performed properly and under supervision, yoga poses or asanas can improve any imbalance in the body and address specific problems related to muscular pain and chronic conditions. However, it is important to consult with an experienced yoga instructor before beginning any new routine.

Yoga Poses to Do for Whiplash

Begin your yoga routine with a set of gentle warm up exercises for your neck and upper spine such as chin tilt, side-to-side flex-ion and neck stretch. An ideal yoga routine if you suffer from whiplash should include the following to do poses:

  • Standing Staff Pose
  • Easy Twist
  • Lying Down Cross Twist
  • Child’s Pose
  • Cat Cow
  • Down Dog
  • Cobra (but with caution)
  • Easy Dolphin Pose
  • Legs Up the Wall Pose
  • Corpse Pose

Yoga Poses to Avoid for Whiplash

Any yoga pose that puts undue pressure on the neck and shoulders should be avoided until the strength in your spine returns. Never push yourself beyond your limits as this could do more damage. Yoga poses to avoid if you suffer from whiplash include:

  • Shoulder stand
  • Headstand

Poses such as Cobra, Dolphin and Down Dog should also be performed carefully making sure that you do not overextend the neck muscles. If you experience any sharp pain during any pose, stop immediately and consult with your instructor before proceeding further. With a condition such as whiplash it is better to err on the side of caution in order to prevent further damage and a permanent problem.

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