Take a minute to think the amount of time you spend on your cell phone or laptop. Next, check if your head is aligned to your neck; your screen is at your eye level. If it is so, this article is not meant for you as you would not be suffering from this problem. If, however, your answer is in negative, you know the reason for your constant pain in the vicinity of your shoulder and neck. It is Cervical Spondylosis.

Wear & tear to the cervical spine due to aging, used to be the primal cause of cervical spondylosis. However, aging has broken all the rules and has begun to show its presence in children as young as 10-12 years old. Our love for gadgets with its multiple repetitive usages has drastically reduced the life span of our spine.

posture v1

Figure: The weight seen by the spine increasing when flexing the neck at varying degrees. An adult head weighs 10-12 lbs in neutral position. As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck, surges to 27 lbs at 15^o , 40 pound at 30^o and 60 lbs at 60^o . Source: http://techaeris.comhttp://www.npr.org

Cervical Spondylosis

Do’s

  • Whenever you remember (during the day), push your chin back to align your head with your neck.
  • Ear lobes are above your shoulders
  • Shoulder blades are slightly retracted (closer to each other)
  • Shoulder blades are in line with your hips

Don’t

  • Do not bend your head down
  • No back movement of the head with a jerk
  • Do not carry bag (e.g. computer bag etc.) only on one side
  • Learn to type without looking down
  • Keep your cell phone and laptop scree at the eye level

Therapeutic application of YOGA can restore the health of your spondylosis affected spine

Yogasanas restore postural alignment, thereby, reducing the constant tension and spasm caused due to our comfortably assumed misaligned postures over a period of time. Different movements and corrective breathing increases pranic flow in these areas. As a result, the cells are rejuvenated with oxygenated blood and perform to their optimal best. The Sukhshma Vyayama listed below, when practiced regularly, will help eradicate this condition by strengthening the surrounding areas.

Sukshma Vyayama (Simple Exercises)

1 Rolling your arms above your head: Roll your arms clockwise five times and anticlockwise five times. For details, click on the picture.  IMG_3501
2 Folding your arms above your head: Fold your arms in front of your chest and raise it up with resistance and a neutral spine. For details, click on the picture.  IMG_3528
3 One arm stretch: Bend your right elbow, place right palm at the middle of upper back, push your right elbow at the back and then pull it to the left with left palm. For details, click on the picture.  IMG_3519
4 Hands in Gomukhasana: Hook your fingers at the back, stretch it apart. For details, click on the picture.  IMG_3526
5 Namaste at the back: Get your palms in traditional Indian Namaste at the back of your chest. For details, click on the picture.  IMG_3522

Key points

  • Let the movement be slow and steady
  • Once locked, stretch your arms away from each other to secure the lock and optimize the stretch
  • Make sure to stretch your shoulders and elbows away from each other so that the shoulder blades are in retracted position
  • Ensure that the head is constantly aligned with your neck (ear lobes are above your shoulders) and does not move forward especially when you move your arms to the back

Benefits

  • Releases spasm and tensions from the upper part of your body by stretching the sides, armpits, triceps, and chest, thereby, increasing the range of motion in the shoulder joints
  • Arm rotation is recommended for frozen shoulders. It helps release the tightness around shoulders by increasing blood flow in that area
  • People suffering from Cervical Spondylosis feel immediate relief with few rounds of this movement
  • Wide movements of arms give good massage to the chest region thereby improving the lung capacity
  • The movement strengthens the neck muscles

The best part about these stretches is that these can be done anywhere anytime. You can take a 2 minute break during your office or during your study time to do these stretches and keep yourself free from tight shoulders / frozen shoulders / shallow breathing and cervical spondylosis.

For any query, write to “Ask Shammi” on www.shammisyogalaya.com For other blogs on related subject, check www.shammisyogalayablog.com


Shammi GuptaShammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.