Yoga for neck pain is a holistic type of mindbody exercise therapy that is often used to treat chronic symptoms in the cervical spinal region. Yoga can be a relaxing pastime or a vigorous workout, depending on the style practiced, the intensity of the practitioner and the objective of practice. Yoga is also known to be a great fitness activity that provides psychoemotional benefits which can mitigate pain and related neurological symptomology.
Yoga provides a virtually risk-free way to manage pain and also facilitates a range of additional personal enrichment benefits, including increased flexibility, improved athleticism, relaxation of the mind and an enhanced sense of anatomical self. Yoga is widely recommend as a physical activity for people of all ages and abilities, but still does not rank as an ideal method of neck pain treatment, simply because it is symptomatic in nature, rather than curative. However, as symptom-based therapies go, yoga is certainly one of the most rewarding, least dangerous and most enlightened of all care routines.
This focused essay takes an in-depth look at the use of yoga to treat neck pain problems. We will analyze the benefits of yoga practice, as well as demonstrate the limitations of this wonderful activity for chronic pain sufferers or people who are currently rehabilitating neck injuries.
Yoga for Neck Pain Positive Attributes
Yoga is one of the healthiest activities a person can perform on a regular basis. Yoga provides a great physical workout, as well as imparting improved flexibility to the entire body. Yoga increases regional and systemic circulation, helping to ward off the effects of oxygen deprivation neck pain, a common source of symptoms for many chronic sufferers.
Yoga helps to condition all the soft tissues of the body, assisting in injury and pain prevention. Yoga is also proven to help regulate the digestive tract, improve bodily awareness and generally improve health over time. Yoga can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, regardless of age, physical ability or health problems. Yoga does not require equipment and is therefore a very cost effective method of self care once the postures, called asanas, are mastered.
Yoga benefits do not stop with mere anatomical rewards. Practitioners cite deep relaxation and relief from stress when practicing regularly. Since yoga is a form of dynamic meditation, much akin to my own beloved martial arts, students actually develop improved life skills through learning the art and practicing its discipline. It is common for yoga pupils to also receive a comprehensive education about proper diet and general stress management to create an ever-better version of the life they currently live.
When viewed objectively, yoga seems like a great neck pain therapy, since it demonstrates many positive characteristics and few, if any, negative consequences of practice. The main downside to yoga is the cost of quality instruction and continuing practice if the student decides to attend instructor-supervised classes long-term. However, these costs can be significantly reduced by mastering the postures and practicing in a cost free environment at home, with friends or with like-minded non-commercial group participation.
Yoga Therapeutic Limitations
It is difficult to stop extolling the benefits of yoga and focus on the limitations of treatment, but for the sake of factual objectivity, that is what must be accomplished in this article to provide a balance viewpoint. Although we are including these potential downsides of practice, we still highly recommend yoga as a great lifestyle activity.
Since yoga will not address structural issues in the spine, it can not cure most anatomically-induced causes of neck pain. Spinal abnormalities that are definitively linked to the pain generation process will not usually benefit much from yoga participation, although the natural endorphins released during yoga will certainly help to temporarily decrease pain. Yoga may actually exacerbate some particular structural issues in the spine or surrounding musculature, so it is always strongly advised to consult your doctor or physical therapist before starting practice.
Some of the best benefits of yoga, or any type of active exercise therapy, are experienced by patients suffering from mindbody-enacted ischemia. Although it is great that these people can find significant temporary relief from their pain using exercise, the underlying psychoemotional reasons for the syndrome remain undiscovered and untreated, meaning that pain will continue until the patient acknowledges the psychogenic causation and its root causative mechanism. While yoga does not prevent the patient from exploring these possibilities, it may act as a distraction and delay resolution of pain that may be better treated using psychoemotional care, such as that offered by the alternative path of knowledge therapy.
Yoga for Neck Pain Evaluation
Yoga should be compared to other symptomatic care methods when making an overall determination of its worth in treating chronic neck pain. When stacked against other forms of exercise therapy, yoga ranks among the best, including swimming. However, when ranked against most professionally-applied care practices, yoga truly shines.
Yoga does not have the inherent costs of complementary care practices, such as chiropractic, massage or acupuncture. Although these are positive and all-natural solutions for neck pain, they do still involve considerable monetary investment on a very long-term basis. When contrasted against typical medical symptom-based remedies, yoga really stands out as a natural winner, since it does not demonstrate any of the sizeable risks of drug or injection therapies and actually provides about the same level of symptomatic relief according to many noted studies.
So in closing, we stand behind our recommendation of yoga as a great alternative method of pain management that might allow patients to reduce or eliminate dangerous drugs from their therapy program. However, compared to curative interventions that can positively identify and resolve the underlying origin of symptoms, regardless of whether these might be anatomical or psychoemotional, yoga demonstrates the same weakness inherent to all symptomatic practices. In essence, it might make you feel better, but it will not cure the actual problem which is causing your pain. Additionally, practice will need to be continued for life in order for the benefits to endure. However, since yoga does provide so many health boons, participating for life is certainly not a bad idea.