Yoga and Physiotherapy for Cervical Spondylosis

What is cervical spondylosis


Cervical spondylosis, commonly known as neck arthritis, is a condition where bones and cartilage in the neck region go through wear and tear, causing chronic pain in the neck, head, and shoulder blades and stiffness in the neck. It can even lead to vertigo in some extreme cases, leading to the disintegration of discs in the spine, cervical vertebrae, and ligaments. Worldwide, this condition mostly affects elderly people above the age of sixty. 


The most common symptoms of cervical spondylosis are pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder blades spreading towards the arms and sometimes headache. These kinds of pain can be managed with the help of yoga and physiotherapy. In many cases, researchers have found that the pain has almost disappeared with regular yoga and physiotherapy.


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Causes of Cervical Spondylosis


Causes of cervical spondylosis


In general, the main reason for cervical spondylosis is the age factor, but today’s tech-savvy era and sedentary lifestyles are also contributing enough. Let’s look at the causes of cervical spine disorder.


Age

Ageing is one of the dominant reasons for cervical spondylosis. Studies say that more than 85% of people above the age of 60 suffer from this condition. With age, the bones and ligaments in our spine tear down, and the intervertebral disc starts degenerating, causing discomfort and neck arthritis.


Genetics

Genetics plays an important role in our overall health; many diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart issues are mostly hereditary diseases that are passed on from our past generations. Likewise, cervical spondylosis is also something that can run in the family. 


Injuries

Injuries can also cause cervical spondylosis. Another reason that can trigger this neck arthritis is lifting heavy weights, which causes tension in the spine. Sports professionals are also at risk of developing this condition.


Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle has become the starting block for numerous diseases, including spondylolysis, sitting for long hours, and hunching on the devices weakens the back muscles, putting strain on the spine and leading to wrong postures, making it one of the prime neck pain causes.


Yoga for Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis can be managed with the help of a combination of yoga asanas(poses) and breathing practices(pranayama). Here, we will see some yoga poses and their benefits for neck pain relief.


Bhujangasana(Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana or cobra pose helps soothe the pain or discomfort in the back by stretching it out entirely. This pose helps eliminate the stiff neck, shoulder and spine by strengthening the spine and improving the body posture. Let’s check out the steps below.

  • Lie on your stomach with your legs straight.
  • Place your palm on the ground near your shoulder.
  • Now, slowly try to lift your chest off the ground.
  • Straighten your elbow, head facing the ceiling.
  • Arch the back, and come back.
  • Inhale and exhale through the poses.

This pose helps increase blood circulation, making the spine muscles flexible and reducing the pain in the cervical spine.


Dhanurasana(Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana or bow pose may be difficult to practice initially, but with time, this can be effective in eliminating cervical vertebrae discomfort and aches and helps correct body posture. Here are the steps to practice this posture correctly. 

  • Lie on your tummy with straight legs, like the bhujangasana or cobra pose.
  • Slowly bring your heel near your butt by bending your knees.
  • Hold your feet with your hands and arms stretched.
  • Stretch your spine by forming an arch.
  • Breathe in and out as you perform these asanas.

This practice helps stretch the entire body, strengthen the back muscles, improve flexibility, and enhance neck pain relief.


Ardha Matsyendrasana(Sitting Half Spinal Twist)

This is a twisted pose that energises the spine and stretches the neck and shoulder, enhancing flexibility and soothing the stiff neck

Steps to follow.

  • Sit straight with your legs stretched out in front.
  • Bend the right leg over the left leg, bringing your foot near your left hip.
  • Slowly twist your upper body towards the right side, looking at your shoulder.
  • Place your left arm around the right knee.
  • Keep your spine, neck and head aligned.
  • Inhale and exhale as you practice.

Ardha Matsyendrasanan, or sitting in a half spinal twist pose, relieves the tension in the upper back region caused by prolonged sitting in the wrong posture.


Marjariasana(Cat Pose)

Marjariasana, or Cat pose, is one of the easiest yoga asanas. This pose stretches the neck, taking out the tension and stiffness. This can be one of the best Neck exercises that also helps in relaxing the mind. Let us see the steps.

  • Come on your knees and hands, forming a table-like structure.
  • Gently, look towards the ceiling, stretching your throat and making an arch from your back.
  • Respire as you perform the stretches.

This pose or asana not only increases the elasticity in the back but also helps to strengthen the wrist and shoulders, alleviating any sort of pain in the shoulders.


Setu Bandhasana(Bridge Pose)

Setu bandh asana or bridge pose can be a beginner-friendly pose that helps alleviate headaches and stretches the Cervical vertebrae, improving the spine flexibility. Let’s learn how to do the bridge pose.

.

  • Lie on your back and bend your knees.
  • Slowly try to bring your heels towards your butt.
  • Keeping your arms alongside your body, palm on the floor.
  • Now, slowly lift your lower back, middle back and upper back off the floor.
  • Uphold your weight on your shoulders, arms and feet.
  • Then, gently roll back while breathing in and out throughout.

This posture strengthens the back muscles and instantly improves blood flow, giving a soothing effect. 


Makarasana(Crocodile Pose)

Makarasana, or crocodile pose, is the most relaxed position that inspires the cervical vertebrae to a neutral position, getting some relief from cervical spine pain, which calms down the whole nervous system. Steps to do this easy exercise.

  • Lie down on your tummy, and bring your hands in front.
  • Straighten your spine and legs.
  • Crossing your arms, rest your forehead on it.
  • Slowly lift your upper body.
  • Inhale and exhale as you perform.

This pose opens the chest, releasing the tightness in the back and shoulder. This asana can be accomplished to conclude the yoga session. 

Get proper guidance from a qualified physiotherapist. Book your free consultation for a smooth journey of recovery.


Physiotherapy for Cervical Spondylosis

Physiotherapy is a treatment that helps to restore, maintain and maximise the functions and movements of patients by focusing on the science of movement. It involves non-surgical procedures like exercises and various therapies incorporating heat therapy, cold therapy, mechanical therapy, ultrasound therapy, or electrical therapy. These approaches are safe and sound ways to get rid of neck arthritis. Studies suggest that physiotherapy is successful in lessening the Cervical spine issue by over 75%. Let’s discuss some therapies and Neck exercises that could be suggested by a physiotherapist.


Manual Therapy

Manual therapy includes massages on the inflated area, which releases muscle tension that has occurred over time due to daily life stress. In this therapy, the therapist applies direct pressure on the muscle through massage to help relieve the chronic pain.


Heat therapy

Heat therapy or thermotherapy uses a heat pack that helps alleviate chronic pain related to muscle sensitivity and stiffness. With regular exercise, this therapy aids in getting relief in the affected area, speeding up your recovery.


Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture therapy involves thin needle insertion on your body at specific points that help eliminate neck arthritis. This is a famous traditional Chinese technique used to ease persistent pain.


Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy is the most commonly used therapy, whether it is a little ache or a recurring pain. This is something that can be done at home but under the guidance of a professional practitioner. Here are some of the simple exercises that can help in pain management.


Neck Flexion

This is an easy exercise you can do while sitting or standing; just make sure your back is straight, slowly bring your chin down towards the chest, and hold it for 5-10 seconds. You will feel a stretch in your neck; repeat this for 5-10 times. This will help to strengthen your neck.


Neck Rotation

Another easy one is that many people tend to do this ignorantly after sitting together for hours in front of computers, which helps ease the stiff neck. Sit or stand with your spine straight, and slowly rotate your head in one direction. Do it for 15-20 seconds, then do it in another direction. You can feel the stretches in the neck, which enhances flexibility.


Shoulder Wave Circles

Shoulder wave circles, as the name says, you have to sit straight on a stool or an armless chair, then squeeze your shoulder blade, trying to squeeze as much as possible. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, then relax. This helps to maintain a good posture, lessening the tension in the neck.


Neck Extension

Neck extensions are another easy exercise that can be performed while sitting or standing. Here, you have to bend your head backwards and stare at the ceiling, hold this for 5-10 seconds, and get back to normal. Repeat this five times. This improves posture and signals from brain to body, soothing the stiff neck.


Conclusion

An amalgamation of yoga and physiotherapy can erode the chronic pain due to cervical spondylosis. It might take a little longer than the medication or surgery, but regular and firm practice of yoga and physiotherapy will gradually help you get back to your daily routine easily and without any side effects. You can see a positive change in your body that will help you lead a happy and pain-free life. This amazing pair of yoga and physiotherapy can help you with physical aspects and give you mental health benefits, enhancing your life overall. But always make sure that you take the guidance of a qualified professional trainer whenever you want to start your regime.

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Manjeet Singh
Manjeet Singh

Manjeet, a seasoned entrepreneur with over 18 years in edtech and health tech, boasts a profound understanding of the human anatomy. When faced with Lumbar Spondylitis, instead of opting for surgery, Manjeet innovatively crafted the 360Flex methodology, harnessing the power of yoga for natural chronic pain management. As the driving force behind Buddy4Study, he escalated its user base to a staggering 5M and amplified organic traffic to over 100,000/day within 3.5 years.

His commendable achievements include accolades such as Business World Techtors 2020 and being named among CNBC's top entrepreneurs 2020. A B.Tech graduate from MERI, Kolkata, Manjeet's expertise is an asset in the realm of holistic healing.

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