Neck pain is no fun. I should know. Due to an auto accident almost 20 years ago, I am always challenged with neck and back issues.
The lower back can be easily strengthened in yoga with core work and modifications, but caring for the neck is trickier.
Yoga can help or hurt the neck pain. If you suffer from chronic neck pain due to structural issues in your spine or extreme tension, avoid looking up in poses like triangle, side angle and half moon. Instead, go with gravity and allow your head to hang down without tension. Also avoid headstand, shoulderstand, plow and fish pose.
This will help your neck feel less tense, but to truly release knots in the neck I often use the following 3 tools. I know they can help you, too.
1. The Acupressure Neck Pillow – The design of this neck pillow is reminiscent of the Indian bed of nails, an ancient healing practice. Gently lay the back of your neck on the pillow, taking slow deep breaths for a few minutes to release tension and increase circulation in the area.
Many brands make it and you can find it on Amazon and eBay. Just be careful. It is very spiky!
2. The Body Back Buddy – I recently got this magical device. It has numerous knobs in various shapes to help you spot treat knots in your neck and back. I use it for the side of the neck and inside shoulder, which are very hard to get on your own. The design of the back buddy makes it easy for you to apply pressure while sitting comfortably. Simply find your spot and apply pressure while taking slow deep breaths to release tension and soften those trouble spots.
You can find it on the Back Buddy site or Amazon.
3. China-Gel White – I have been using China Gel since my teacher training and recommend it to students all the time. It is wonderful for sore muscles and a sore neck or back. Its strength is in its Chinese herbal ingredients. Make sure to look for the White version, which doesn’t have artificial coloring.
You can find it on the China Gel site or Amazon.
Try one or all of these great tools for neck pain relief. If it doesn’t get better after a few weeks, consider seeing a chiropractor for an x-ray or acupuncturist for specialized help.