Neck pain after Shoulderstand is becoming more and more common and talked about. The Shoulderstand is known as the mother of all yoga poses in pretty much every yoga practice. It has been said to be one of the most beneficial poses and some yoga instructors claim that yoga would be incomplete without it. But what if I told you this pose may not be the best or even recommend for you? Are you feeling neck pain after Shoulderstand? I am assuming you are or know someone that is, so lets find out why.
Neck pain after Shoulderstand can be caused by too much neck flexion while in the pose or a previous neck injury being triggered due to bad form or overexcretion of the neck. This pose squeezes the front of the cervical discs down and can cause neck pain, inflammation, or even herniation if one is not careful. This can then cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and/or pain within the neck. If this pain has not reduced after a week of rest we recommend speaking to a doctor immediately.
This pose is believed to give many benefits to the body, some of which include:
- Increased metabolism
- Asthma relief
- Helps with insomnia
- Anxiety relief
- Decreased blood pressure
As great as these benefits are, they don’t outweigh the risk of potentially seriously damaging your neck permanently or causing neck pain after shoulderstand.
Tips to perform the Shoulderstand safely
If you still plan on doing Shoulderstand’s I recommend first making sure you are doing the form correct. If you have a previous neck injury I suggest not doing Shoulderstand’s and remove them from your routine. Neck pain after Shoulderstand can happen for many reasons but if you have any previous neck issues it is best to not do Shoulderstand’s.
The first thing to remember when doing Shoulderstands is that your weight should be on your shoulders and not your neck. Many advocate to bring your chest to your chin, not your chin to your chest. These are good rules of thumb to prevent neck pain after shoulderstand.
- Practice with some support, such as a blanket or foam pad
- Squeeze your shoulders around your spine to ease the pressure on the exact part of your neck that is causing the pain
- Draw your elbows in closer together as your hands support your hips
- Keep your gaze straight up and do not move your head
- Push the shoulders and back of the arms into the ground to relieve pressure from the neck
Before doing the shoulder stands, in order to prevent neck pain after shoulderstand, it is recommended you have the shoulder strength and mobility to be able to push your shoulders and the back of your arms into the ground to remove pressure from the neck. If this is too difficult, it is recommended to use props or easier versions of the pose to best prevent neck pain after shoulderstand. Following these tips should keep you in a much safer position if you decide to keep doing shoulderstands.
Neck Pain After Shoulderstand Treatment
If you are experiencing any neck pain after shoulderstand, it is best to not do shoulderstands until your neck pain is gone. This is to prevent further pain and possible injury. If you ignore this pain and continue doing shoulderstands, you can risk not only injuring yourself, but causing a neck herniation which would make things much worse for you in the long run.
Here are some treatments you can do to quickly stop your neck pain after shoulderstand.
Ice and Heat
If you’re experiencing neck pain after shoulderstand you may have either pinched a nerve or stressed your neck so much that it caused inflammation. A good way to heal this is to hold ice on the affected area for 10-20 minutes to reduce any swelling and inflammation you are feeling.
After this I recommend taking a warm or hot shower, whichever you prefer. I usually prefer hot, I will stand with the water hitting my neck. This will soothe and relax the neck, easing the pain, and it will help relax the muscles in the neck. I recommend doing this for 15-30 minutes to loosen and relax the muscles in your neck.
I know, this seems basic, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t listen to this advice and continue to do physical activities that can stress their neck. People like me. It is recommended to relax and not stress your neck at all until it has healed, stressing the neck further can cause more damage and possible permanent damage to your neck.
I also recommend getting more sleep and reducing any stress, this will help with any headaches that will usually come due to any neck pain or injury. Meditation, along with just staying relaxed by doing activities that you enjoy and don’t stress the neck are best.
I recommend some light stretching to help regain neck mobility and strength and speed up recovery. The main key to doing these stretches for recovery is to do them slowly and very lightly. You don’t need to work hard to have a good and effective stretch.
Tilt your head back slightly, then roll it left, then forward, then right, and then back. Return the head to a neutral position and you can start again, do these repeatedly for 20 to 30 seconds and relax. This will help to loosen and relax the neck, do these slowly and lightly. Follow the image above for a visual representation.
I have some great yoga stretches you can do as your neck pain has reduced, I suggest taking a look at them. I’ll link to the article below for you to check out these stretches and try them out!
Over the counter pain reliever
If you have a busy day and can’t be distracted by neck pain after shoulderstand, it is best to use an over the counter pain reliever, it can even be a cream. These are very effective and can mask the pain within minutes. I usually use Advil or Tylenol. Also for creams I personally have used Bengay and Tiger Balm. All of these have had great effect.
Just remember, these are masks for the pain, its best to take care of your body and not stress it, because this pain can only get worse. These pain relievers are only masking the pain and are not getting rid of it or fixing the problem.
Maintain good posture
Good posture is extremely important overall, but especially during situations when you have neck pain after shoulderstand or a neck injury. I suggest paying close attention to your posture throughout the day, stand with good straight posture, don’t tilt your head down or too high up and don’t hunch over for long periods of time either.
Follow the image above to see good posture habits while sitting. This is great for those of you who are like me and work a job that requires you to sit most of the day in front of a computer screen. It is important to keep the screen at eye level and don’t look up or down for too long. Also do not hunch over in your seat. Pay attention to your posture throughout the day and keep good posture in mind.
If you hold your head in a bad position for too long, this will cause the pressure on your neck to build up, holding this pressure for long periods of time will cause muscle weakness because the muscles in the neck have been overused from holding this bad position for such long periods of time. It is best to get up and stretch often to release any built up tension in the body from time to time. I usually get up every 30 minutes to one hour.
Neck pain has become a very common thing over the years and have grown in the number of cases across todays population. This is due to many lifestyle choices, but mostly from bad posture habits. In your case, it has happened because you wanted to take care of your body by doing yoga and unexpectedly now you’re feeling pain from something you thought was supposed to help you.
Yoga is amazing for the body and for healing pain, but some poses can be controversial, I am not saying to never do shoulderstands but to evaluate yourself and see if you have any previous injuries. This not only includes the neck but spines and any spinal issues. If this is the case, I suggest not doing shoulderstands because they are known to stress the neck and there are many cases of people having neck pain from doing them. Usually it can be due to bad form, but there are cases of people having great form and right in front of their instructor they have pain.
There are many great poses in yoga to choose from, if this is one that should be left out, you still have many more to choose from.
Here is a great article for yoga poses for neck pain below
Check out another great article from healthline below!