Yoga Practices For Cervical Spondylitis

(November 9, 2010)

Can cervical spondolytis be completely cured with asanas ?


Spondylosis is a very common problem of the back. A herniated disk in the neck area is responsible for this condition. The neck is the most active area of the human body as it is used for several movements. There are ligaments and muscles that support the neck and enable it to perform a variety of motions. The neck is also a vulnerable area and even minor strain can lead to significant discomfort. Chronic degeneration of the cervical spine and the cervical disks leads to a condition known as cervical spondylosis. Muscles strain or a tear in the ligaments can also result in cervical spondylosis. The symptoms of this condition vary depending upon the affected nerves. Some of the symptoms of cervical spondylosis include a tingling sensation in the shoulders, stiffness in the neck, pain and numbness in the legs. Headaches may also be experienced in the back of the head. In some cases, cervical spondylosis can result in compression of the spinal nerves. This is known as cervical radiculopathy. Yoga for cervical spondylosis helps to ease strain from the neck and hence provides relief from the pain and discomfort.
Great care needs to be exercised however if you intend to take up yoga for cervical spondylosis. Any exercise for cervical spondylosis should be performed only after a consulting a doctor. This is because certain movements may aggravate the symptoms and lead to complications. A session of yoga for cervical spondylosis can not include any random postures that you would normally practice, but there are specific poses, and some poses may also be modified, not just to promote healing, but also to avoid serious injury. Yoga cervical for spondylitis includes many poses such as Vajrasana (Diamond Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Pavanmukhtasana (Wind Relieving Pose), Makrasana (Crocodile Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) and Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation). Fitness for cervical spondylosis through yoga also involves Pranayam or breathing exercises. These breathing techniques help to relax the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back. Yoga for cervical radiculopathy and other cervical problems usually involves slightly modified exercises which help to provide more benefit, while preventing worsening of the condition. For example, in case of head stands, the forehead must be placed on the floor in order to stretch the spine and relieve pain. Shoulder stands are to be practiced using a chair. It is best to seek guidance from a trained yoga teacher.
Neck pain and stiffness can also be alleviated through other natural methods. A daily hot shower helps considerably in relaxing tense muscles and reducing pain and stiffness. Cervical collars are often recommended for those with spondylosis in order to provide support to the neck. In case of severe neck pain, over the counter medications may be taken.

Submitted by A on November 9, 2010 at 05:54

Cervical spondylitis is completely curable. However, this cannot be achieved only with the help of asanas, but through a whole package of Yoga practices.

 

Yoga Practice for Cervical Spondylitis


First of all, in Yoga you learn to relax, mentally as much as physically. This is very, very important for you, particularly if you are suffering from cervical spondylitis. Yoga teaches you asanas (poses) such as the Shavasana (Corpse Pose) and many other techniques designed specially for mental, physical and emotional relaxation.


If you practise Yoga regularly and in all respects, including the dietary recommendation of a Sattvic (simple, light and predominantly vegetarian) Yogic diet, and get enough sleep, you will be able to overcome your spondylitis problems. These practices will strengthen your muscles and help you manage pain by relieving tension, mostly through practices of relaxation. Tackle strategy for cervical spondylitis is as under:

  • Constant postural awareness and control.
  • Exercises to stretch your neck and shoulder muscles and girdle. These exercises will include gentle stretches and movements of your neck, arms and shoulders.
  • Mild heat application for around 15 minutes 2 – 3 times daily. Please avoid application of excessive heat.
  • Stretching your whole body 2 or 3 hours to reverse and effects of stress.
  • Yoga relaxation with Nispanda Bhava (Unmoving Observation), Shavasana (Corpse pose) and Yoga Nidra (Yogic sleep). These will go a long way in helping relax the muscles of your back and neck.

Warm-Ups

  • Shoulder Stretches (take care to avoid neck exercises and rotations)
  • Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation). Do only a few rounds, slowly and without jerking your body.

Asanas (poses)


Standing Position -

  • Tadasana
  • Vrikshasana

Sitting Position

  • Sukhasana (Easy pose)     
  • Padmasana (Lotus pose)
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt pose)
  • Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose). Never raise your neck or head in this pose; it could prove harmful.
  • Parvatasana (Mountain pose). In this pose, join your hands, raise them up and stretch them to the limit.

Supine Position

  • Single Leg Raises (never raise your head or neck and please avoid Double Leg Raises)
  • Supta Vajrasana (Supine Thunderbolt pose)


Prone Position

  • Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Shalabhasana (Locust pose)


Twist

  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist). Never turn your neck or try to look behind or stare behind your shoulder like normal, healthy people are advised to do in this pose.


Relaxation

  • Shavasana (Corpse pose)


Pranayamas (breathing exercises)

  • Mild Kapalabhatti (Skull cleansing).
  • Anuloma-Viloma (Alternate nostril breathing)

Submitted by A on March 9, 2009 at 04:12

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