Yoga Poses for Shoulder Pain Relief – Part 1

This is a three-part series on nerve gliding and we’re focusing on the nerves that run from the neck and down through the arm into the fingers. And these are great poses to do if you do have shoulder pain or wrist pain, or pain through your arm. So starting off today with the Median Nerve and then the next video will be the Radial Nerve and then the Ulnar Nerve.

If that doesn’t work for you, then try the next video and see if that makes a difference. And then if not, try the last one. And hopefully, you’ll notice the difference with one of them, just depending on which nerve may be affected. If you’re experiencing pain in this area, you may like to just focus on that arm. Of course, be mindful, because if you especially if you are experiencing pain, you want to make sure that you’re only doing it at about an intensity level of two or three.

So it’s very, very gentle in the body. And the other thing too, you could do, is if you are experiencing pain on one side is maybe just test the other side so you know what it feels like. And then you can come to the side that you may be experiencing some pain. And we will begin by just focusing on the Median Nerve. So this one, you will feel possibly through the inside edge of your thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger, and we’ll do a test.

So get a bit of a reference or a baseline move and then we’ll test that again at the end. OK, so just begin first, relaxing the shoulders, sitting up tall. So you’re lifting up through the crown of your head. Do you notice if your chin is tilting up towards the ceiling? Can you do a little bit of a head ramp? So draw the chin in, crown of your head up. OK then let’s just test it.

I’ll start with my right arm. Right arm. So I’m just going to lift up and lower. And you want to test a range of movement that maybe causes you discomfort.

So whether it be lifting arm up, maybe taking the arm out to the side, testing the range of movement that you have, maybe taking your arm behind you or across to just notice whatever that is for you. And so just notice the range of movement you have and then you can just relax, shake out through the arms. OK, and then let’s begin.

So you’re going to reach out long through the arm, lift up through the crown of the head. So make sure you’re not tilting the head, OK?

And then you that extend at the wrist. So you’re going to draw your fingers up towards the ceiling. So palms of the hand. Will we down towards the ground then rotate your hand. So it’s an external rotation so your fingers will start to draw towards the back of the room.

Here, you may already be feeling it.

So notice it. Each add on I give you, see how it feels and then you may want to back off back to the previous position. So the next position will be to draw the shoulders down away from the ear. So this is depressing the shoulder, still keeping the arm and the external rotation. Notice again how this makes it feel, OK, then we go into abduction. So taking the away from the body. Again.

Pause. Notice the sensations. If you need to stay here, then stay here. Back off if you need to, OK? And then from here, if you want to go a little bit more, you’ll be taking your opposite ear down towards the opposite shoulder.

And notice what you’re feeling here, back off if you need to. You may want to close your eyes and feel the sensation. Can you observe it or visualize it even from your neck going all the way down through the shoulder, right through the arm to your fingers. Follow the pathway. Notice what you’re feeling. And it’s quite a strange sensation. It’s not all the same when we work with the muscle, the contraction in a release of muscles.

So just notice. Then you can start to maybe bring some gentle movement in. See how that feels. So maybe just circling your arm in one direction, the other direction – notice what that produces for you, your experience. OK, and then we’re going to put the tension on and release the tension. So if you need to back off slightly, come back to one of the other positions and you can put the tension on and release attention from any of the areas, from the shoulder or maybe the elbow, you could do it at the risk – so flexing and extending the wrist or bending the elbow.

We’re going to do it from the shoulder. So come back and to the position. I’ll start again just so you can if you need to back off. So wrist extension, fingers up towards the ceiling, external rotation, fingers towards the back of the room. Draw the shoulder down away from the ear and then take the arm away from the body. And lastly, head in the opposite direction. Ok now we’re going to release the tension by lifting the shoulder towards the ear and then put the tension on, drawing the shoulder down away from the air. And again lifting the shoulder and release the tension and then put the tension on during the shoulder down away from the. Last one.

Elevate the shoulder and then depress the shoulder. OK, and then you’ll just slowly start to release. So bring your head back up, lower your arm, rotate, and then shake it out and just shake out any funny feelings, any weird feelings that you may be experiencing. Again, then we just test again, test the baseline. Notice if there’s a change in the range of movement you have. And if there isn’t, that’s OK. You may then want to test the next one.

So the next video, we look at the Radial Nerve. See you in the next video.


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Lauren McKee
Lauren developed Bodysense Yoga to help people move freely without pain. It's an amalgamation of concepts from yoga, bio-mechanics, and neuroscience. Lauren owns a yoga studio in New Zealand and also teaches her unique style of yoga online. You can connect with Lauren via one of these channels...
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