Cervical spondylosis and neck pain is one of the most common problems that one encounters in day to day life. It is probably as common as common cold.
With the increase in number of professionals who sit for hours together doing desk work or sitting for hours in front of the computer and call centre jobs which requires continuous sitting in one posture the number of people suffering with cervical spondylosis is on the rise .Cervical spondylosis is a 'wear and tear' of the vertebrae and discs in the neck and is the most common cause.
Many people with signs of cervical spondylosis on X-rays manage to escape associated symptoms, which include pain, stiffness and muscle spasms. When symptoms do occur, nonsurgical treatments like yoga often are effective.
Cervical spondylosis typically affects only the neck, causing pain and stiffness. When nerve compression also is present, signs and symptoms of cervical spondylosis may include:
- A stiff, painful neck
- Shoulder, arm or chest pain
- Tingling and pinprick sensations in your arms, hands, legs or feet
- Numbness and weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet
- Lack of coordination
The following, specific yoga exercises will help strengthen muscles and increase flexibility in the neck. They also help lubricate and speed nutrients to the neck area.
Follow these steps when practicing neck stretches:
- Start in seated position (cross legged). Sit up tall, reaching up through the top of the head. Draw shoulders back. Exhale, drop chin towards chest, keeping elbows and shoulders pulled back
- Inhale: raise the head back to centre. Do this five times, then on the last exhale, drop the chin and stay in this position for three breaths, breathing through the nose. Inhale, raise head back to centre. Exhale, slowly drop right ear towards right shoulder, Inhale, raise head back to centre. Do this five times, then on the last exhale, drop the ear towards the right shoulder and stay in this position for 3 breaths. Inhale, raise head back to centre. Repeat on left side.
- Fold both the hands and touch the finger tips to the shoulders. Keep the elbows in the front at the level of the shoulders. Then join both the elbows and bring them near the chest and rotate them in circular motion and make a big circle. Repeat this exercise in the opposite direction as well.
- Interlock the fingers of both hands and place them on the chin. The chin presses downwards while the fingers exert pressure upwards. Hold the position to the count of ten. Holding this position causes a vibration at the back of the head. Repeat five times.
- Keep the right hand on the temple and press the palm with the head. This causes vibration opposite side of the neck. Repeat this four to five times and repeat this exercise from the left side.
- Interlock the fingers of both the hands and press both hands on the fore head. While doing this exercise, the neck and head should be straight. The pressing of the hand and head against each other will cause vibration in the nape of neck.
You may be able to reduce your risk of cervical spondylosis and neck pain by following these suggestions:
- Regularly do the yogic exercises mentioned above as they maintain neck strength, flexibility and range of motion.
- Skip high-impact activities, such as running, if you have any neck pain
- Take breaks when driving, watching TV or working on a computer to keep from holding your head in the same position for long periods
- Practise good posture, with your neck aligned over your shoulders
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