Written by Monali Bordoloi and published on 01 June 2021.
Is neck pain and discomfort from your frozen shoulder affecting your daily life? Why not try yoga exercises for relief from frozen shoulder pain? Here are some asanas from yoga guru Suneel Singh
Rakhsha Mudgale, in her early 40's, has been suffering from stiffness in her left shoulder over a year now. The stiffness has turned into a niggling pain that is affecting her day-to-day activities. Now, it has reached a point that Raksha finds it very painful to even lift her shoulder.
Like Raksha, many women in their forties and fifties bear the pain of a frozen shoulder. Known as adhesive capsulitis in medical terms, this condition affects the shoulder joint. Just like in Raksha's case, frozen shoulder starts with little stiffness and discomfort in the shoulder and develops into full-blown debilitating shoulder pain. The pain generally stays from a year to three years.
If you are someone affected by these symptoms, focused yoga for frozen shoulder pain can help, a lot. There are a number of yoga asanas and exercises that can provide relief from neck and shoulder pain.
There are tissues surrounding our upper arm, shoulder blade and collarbone. These tissues known as the shoulder capsule holds everything together. When the frozen shoulder develops, the capsule becomes thick because of scar tissues developing around it. It also becomes tight as synovial fluid, the liquid which lubricates the joints, is less in supply. That makes the movement of the shoulder more painful. Sometimes, people suffering from it also notice that the affected arm becomes a tiny bit shorter than the other.
Yoga guru Suneel Singh says, "Sedentary lifestyle, working and sitting at the desk all day coupled with stress and anxiety result in more cases of the shoulder pain. So, we need movements to help 'defrost' these tight shoulders. Resting the affected arm will lead to more complications."
If you feel a dull and achy pain in one of your shoulders, it can be the first stage of a frozen shoulder. Pain and stiffness in one shoulder are the main symptoms of it. The pain can spread over your shoulder muscles near your arm. You might also feel a tingling sensation in your upper arm. Over time, the stiffness leads to pain and difficulty moving your shoulder.
The pain in the frozen shoulder is said to be more during the night which can affect your sleep pattern. Over time, you will not be able to move your shoulder within your normal range of movements. It will affect your day-to-day life as you will struggle to do regular chores like wearing clothes, eating, bathing, etc.
Women are more likely to suffer from frozen shoulder than men. Generally, women in the age group of 40 to 60 develop this condition, however, even younger women are getting it these days. If you are diabetic, your chances of getting frozen shoulder increase manifold. It is said that around 10 to 20% of people with diabetes develop it at some point. Apart from diabetes, people with heart diseases, thyroid disease and Parkinson's disease are more likely to get the pain.
A sedentary lifestyle, working and sitting at the desk all day coupled with stress and anxiety result in more cases of shoulder pain.
Exercise and yoga are some of the best methods to treat frozen shoulder. Yoga Guru Suneel Singh suggests some effective yoga asanas to treat the condition.
Here are 9 effective yoga asanas for frozen shoulder pain.
1. Shavasana (Corpse pose)Lie down on the floor on your back. Keep the legs straight on the floor, with feet apart by about your shoulder width. Keep the arms straight by your sides with hands placed about six inches away from the body. The head and spine should be in a straight line. Slowly, close your eyes. Make the whole body lose and stop all physical movement, mentally watch your breathing and allow it to become rhythmic and relaxed.
2. Surya namaskar (Sun salutation)If you are already having neck pain, and shoulder pain, practice your Surya namaskar very carefully. If you perform it regularly and systematically, you will have a strong and flexible spine. It is good protection against neck pain, shoulder pain and cervical spondylosis.
3. Matsyasana (Fish pose)
Matsyasana provides strength and flexibility to the entire vertebral column. It is extremely beneficial for shoulder pains and helps in overcoming stress and strain caused due to prolong sitting before the computer.
4. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Our spine carries all nerve impulses from the brain to the body. Bhujangasana removes the stiffness of the neck and shoulder and protects the Spine from damage.
5. Makarasana (Crocodile pose)
Makarasana is good for the spine. It helps the spine to resume its normal shape and releases compression of the spinal nerves. It is effective in treating cervical spondylosis and pain in neck and shoulders.
6. Bal-shayanasana (Infant's pose)Balshayanasana is extremely beneficial for those patients who suffer from lower back pain or cervical spondylitis because of stress, tension and excessive workload.
7. Naukasana (Boat pose)Ardha naukasana is effective for patients with back problems. Besides, it is helpful in managing chronic indigestion and constipation. Even patients with diabetes find it quite beneficial.
8. Salbhaasana (Locust pose)
This gentle back extension yoga is highly beneficial in treating cervical pain, lumbago and sciatica. Performing this asana regularly can give you great relief from cervical spondylosis and neck pain.
9. Shanshank-bhujangasana (Striking cobra pose)
Shanshank-bhujangasana improves flexibility and strength of the spine so that it can counter all the adverse effects of sedentary life. The combination of two asanas, Shanshank and Bhujangasana together are known as Shanshank-Bhujangasana. It is beneficial in treating backache and cervical pain.