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Yogic management

Sarvangasana & halasana are among various asanas which give relief from the cervical spondylitis.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 31, 2003 20:26 IST

All patients with cervical spondylitis have stiff neck and trapezius muscles and are unable to stretch the neck backward. This is an inherent problem and not a muscle spasm. As the anterior surfaces of the vertebrae are compressed causing pain, spinal extension (stretching the spine backward) relieves the problem, though the movement might initially cause vertebro-basilar insufficiency in some cases. Vertebro-basilar insufficiency is prevented because of the resultant elasticity of the cervical muscles and vertebral arteries.

It is essential to make flexible the trapezius, cervical and shoulder muscles. Patients with cervical spondylitis cannot stretch the dorsal spine. Once this can be accomplished, cervical spondylitis ceases to be a problem as extension movements reduce pressure on the cervical nerves. Again, by regularly practising back bends, this disorder can be averted.

In yoga, the intervertebral spaces are widened by pulling the trapezius and other muscles downwards. This is yogic traction. This lengthens the trapezius for it is along the line of gravity . Very little is achieved by conventional traction, where the muscles will telescope into each other again.

There are various asanas which prevent and give relief to this problem — sarvangasana, halasana and back bends are significant. Standing poses help align the cervical and dorsal vertebrae. Inverted poses like head stand and shoulder stand strengthen the cervical muscles and shoulder area. But the technique used in these cases is quite different from the normal.


First Published: Jul 31, 2003 20:26 IST