According to recent estimates, somewhere around 10% adults are experiencing neck pain at any given time. (1) As much as 50% of adults report some sort of neck and shoulder pain in any given year. Unlike back pain, neck pain isn’t usually disabling.
The neck is an extension of the upper part of the spine. Running from the base of the skull to the top of the shoulder region, this area is known as the cervical spine. Through seven different vertebra (which house the spinal cord) and a series of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerve endings, the neck is unlike any other part of the body.
What Causes Neck Pain
Casual neck stretching may provide temporarily relief, but it is important to address the cause of the pain. The causes of neck pain are as varied as the symptoms and severity. Any of the aforementioned parts of the neck can be affected by injury, illness, stress, inactivity, or a combination of factors. Unfortunately, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles only contribute to more discomfort.
People who work in office jobs are much more likely than their active counterparts to report neck pain. Some other causes of neck pain include whiplash, bad posture, poor sleeping position, disc degeneration, nerve damage, arthritis, and more…
Using Yoga for Neck Pain
Turning to yoga for neck pain may not be the first option that comes to mind, but it is an extremely effective approach for most. Many of these yoga poses are designed to improve the strength and flexibility of the rest of your body, indirectly providing neck pain relief. Some are popular neck stretches that you may not associate with yoga, but do out of habit. Other movements are simple neck exercises that should improve strength and flexibility.
Yoga Poses for Neck Pain
These poses can be performed in sequence if desired.
*NOTE: There is a difference between discomfort and pain. If any of these poses cause additional pain, stop and do not attempt them until you receive clearance from a medical professional. Yoga will not work for every type of neck pain, depending on what is causing it.