With people spending more and more time on their computers and systems in their offices, the problem of severe back pain and neck pain has become more of a lifestyle issue. The invention of yoga wheel for back pain and neck pain relief is a welcome step that can help to counter this grave problem faced by a lot of us today.
Yoga wheel for back pain and neck pain relief
Yoga wheel is one of the most recent innovations in Yoga. You can consider it as a prop which helps you with deeper back and neck stretches.
It works by helping to open up your tight shoulders and stretching the front part of your body. This allows to release the stress in your back and provides long-term relief for back and neck pain.
Regular use of a yoga wheel helps in improving your posture, reduces neck and back pain and also provides a handy remedy to get over the negative side effects of of the office posture problems.
What is a yoga wheel?
Yoga wheel is a circular and hollow yoga accessory made with hard and solid plastic. It is covered with a thick padding for comfortable stretches while being used as a prop. There is a channel provided in the middle of the yoga wheel which fits around your spine and your shoulder blades.
It is designed specifically to enable better stretches and to improve your body flexibility. It helps in releasing tension and helps you in getting into deeper stretches.
You can also refer to our detailed post on the best yoga wheels that can be considered for your yoga practice.
Why yoga wheel is indispensable for our current lifestyle choices?
The problem of back, shoulder and neck pain is something that a lot of working professionals are facing today. This has been aggravated by postural issues since we are not sitting up straight and rolling our shoulders back while sitting. This puts additional pressure on our spine.
Continuing with the same habits over a longer period of time leads to mild to severe pain in the back, shoulders and neck.
Since it is a lifestyle issue, the long term solution for it cannot be medication based and it needs a long term and sustainable approach. This is where the stretches recommended by yoga for lower back, upper back and neck come in very handy.
The problem is that a regular yoga class where you have to keep up with multiple students might not be the most ideal place to practice this initially.
Learning some of these yoga poses to practice regularly for the lifestyle issues can really make a huge difference in your life.
When you are starting the yoga practice, it takes a long time to master back bending poses like the bow pose (Dhanurasana) or the Cobra pose (Bhujangasana). Props like yoga wheel are designed to make the initial phase of learning yoga easier for you and also to enable you to get the most out of your yoga practice, once you have become an experienced yogi.
You can use it for a short time every day after returning from office where you have sat in a bad posture for a major part of your day.
The poor posture that most of us maintained during our office hours while being hunched on our systems is corrected by stretching the entire spine and dropping are shoulders back.
Yoga wheel poses for upper and lower back pain, neck pain and shoulders
The yoga wheel is an upgrade on the traditional foam roller which was used by yogis for deeper stretches. It is designed to open up your chest and to massage the muscles around your spine.
Here are a few yoga wheel poses and exercises for upper and lower back pain.
Doing a deep backbend is the best way of using yoga wheel for back pain and shoulder pain relief. To use the yoga wheel for a backbend, you need to position it in the center of your back, in between your shoulder blades and lie over it.
After this you can bring your arms to the side and then get into a deep stretch by stretching your body. This will provide you with relief from back pain if practiced regularly over a long period of time. When you try to do a backbend with yoga wheel the rigid center of the wheel allows you to realign your spine and bring it back to its natural curve. You can use the yoga wheel for massaging your spine as well.
How to choose the right yoga wheel for back pain relief for you?
Choosing the right yoga wheel for yourself is extremely important because this is one of the more costlier yoga accessories available in the market.
Also, since you are using the yoga wheel for deeper stretches and for your posture correction, it is important to choose the right product.
So, how do you decide which yoga wheel to buy?
Some of the factors that you need to keep in mind before choosing the right yoga wheel for back pain are as follows:
Size of the yoga wheel
Yoga wheels are available in different sizes. The size of the wheel has a direct correlation with the amount of stretch you will have while practicing yoga with it. A bigger wheel will be better for a new yogi to start their practice.
Maximum weight bearing capacity
Since you will be lying down or using the yoga wheel as a support prop while practicing different yoga poses, it needs to be ensured that the wheel is sturdy and strong. Don’t forget to check out the maximum load bearing capacity of the wheel before you purchase it.
As we mentioned before, yoga wheel has a hard core which is padded up with a softer material so that you can practice your stretches safely.
The thickness of this padding which is in direct contact with your spine is very important. It has a straight correlation to the comfort that you will feel during the usage. That is why you need to be extremely careful in what thickness you end up choosing.
Since yoga wheel is only a prop in your journey to become a yogi, it should be extremely durable so that it lasts longer. Don’t forget to check out reviews from current users before you finalize.
What are the benefits of a yoga wheel?
- Yoga puts unrelenting focus on balance and overall fitness. This means that if you have a lack of flexibility in your joints or weak pelvic muscles and abdominal muscles, yoga poses will help you in developing them. These muscles act as your first line of defense against the lifestyle problems of back pain and neck pain. Developing these muscles helps in improving posture and reduces the pressure on your back. It also helps in increasing flexibility which really improves the quality of your life.
- Yoga wheel helps you to learn the difficult stretches in a safe manner. So if you don’t feel comfortable doing the traditional backbends, the yoga wheels are a great place to start. The only issue is the backbends and poses like bhujangasan and sun salutation is that they are very difficult for a novice to master. That is why props like yoga wheel are the easier and faster way to reap the benefits of these yogasanas. They would really help in relieving the back pain and neck pain when you start your practice.
- Usually new practitioners end up putting a pause or completely discontinuing their yoga practice when they encounter problems like back spasm or back pain, after trying a difficult yoga stretch. Such problems or injuries to new yoga practitioners can be avoided by using tools like the yoga wheel. The support that it provides during the initial phase of your practice is really invaluable.
- Use of yoga wheel helps you in correcting your posture after sitting in your office for longer periods of time. A lot of people have drooped Shoulders and a hunched over natural posture that increases the stress on their spine and leads to consistent pain. Relying on pain medication for issues like this is not a good long-term solution. Even people who are not very comfortable with yoga can use a yoga wheel right after coming back from office to do some stretches so that the bad impact of sitting at an office desk can be countered in a short duration.
- Having a back support also helps you with your confidence and you can get into your yoga practice with a more assured mindset. This results in you mastering the more difficult yoga poses in an easier manner.
- Since a yoga wheel helps in overcoming your fears it also helps in more sustained yoga practice. A long term usage of yoga wheels not only makes you stronger but it also helps in strengthening your core. The long term effects of having a yoga prop like this are a massive improvement in your overall quality of life.
Yoga wheels available in the market today
Here are some of the best available yoga wheel options on the market today:
The UpCircleSeven Yoga wheel is one of the most highly rated yoga wheels for back pain available on the market today. It has a high load bearing capacity which means it will provide you with sufficient sturdiness while getting into the difficult yoga poses so that you can practice them without any fear.
It is very durable and does not get compressed when additional load is put on it.
This wheel also passes the test for comfort with flying colors with the availability of a very thick padding which provides sufficient cushioning for all your body parts. In addition, it is sweat-resistant which means it would avoid accumulation of moisture during intense yoga sessions.
The UpCircleSeven Yoga wheel is also available as a set of three wheels of different sizes which can be used for your different stretching requirements.
Pete’s choice yoga wheel is also extremely highly rated on Amazon and it fulfills all the requirements that you would want from a yoga wheel. It boasts of high quality and durable ABS material which ensures that it is sturdy, safe and comfortable.
The Urbnfit yoga wheel comes with a strap set. It is made of good quality material with a thick padding for added comfort. This ensures sufficient protection for your spine.
It also helps in releasing muscular tension while you are practicing the deeper yoga stretches quite effectively.
The Risefit yoga wheel claims to be the strongest available yoga wheel for back pain on the market. The makers claim the load bearing capacity of a thousand pounds which ensures that it will be extremely durable. It has a strong base tube so that you can practice your backbends without worrying about safety or lack of support.
The wheel also has sufficient cushioning making the usage experience comfortable for you.
Ativafit sports yoga wheel is made of eco-friendly TPE material instead of PVC. TPE is supposed to be more durable, stable and comfortable for users. The wheel has inner core of ABS material which is extremely strong.
The wheel also comes with a sufficient amount of padding to ensure proper comfort and sweat-resistant material so that you can practice yoga without worrying about cleanliness and awful scents.
Shogun sports yoga wheel help to stretch your abdomen, chest and back. It also helps to massage your spine in a safe and deep manner. With different sizes you should be able to apply three different pressure levels on different parts of your body.
The makers of the yoga wheel also claim it to be sturdy, moisture-free and bacteria-free.
If you are not a regular yoga practitioner, using the yoga wheel for back pain and neck pain relief might not come naturally to you. We would recommend starting with some initial stretches and practicing with it for at least 30 days on a regular basis before you decide whether it works for you or not. It will allow your body to go through the initial connections and get properly aligned.
When the initial soreness of your body goes, you can start experiencing the real long term benefits of using the yoga wheel.
Frequently asked questions on yoga wheels
Is practicing with a yoga wheel for back pain really safe?
The deeper stretches which are recommended for lower and upper back are sometimes really difficult for newbies. So if you are a yoga beginner, using a prop like yoga wheel will be completely safe. What you need to do is to start with the relatively easiest stretches and practice the deeper backbends only after you are really comfortable. The key is to listen to your body and stop as soon as you start feeling any discomfort or pain.
It is also recommended that if you are suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia you should not be practising extreme movement of your spine.
What size yoga wheel should I get?
The Yoga wheels are available in multiple sizes and every wheel size helps in applying different pressure on different parts of your body.
The bigger wheels are considered better for beginners since it allows you not to overstretch initially.
Can you use a yoga wheel for neck pain?
As we mentioned before you can use yoga wheel for getting relief from neck pain also since you can use a relatively smaller radius yoga wheel for stretching your neck and massaging it.
Should you choose a yoga wheel or a foam roller?
Yoga wheels are supposed to be an innovation on the foam rollers which were an existing yoga prop in the market. The foam rollers are usually longer than the yoga wheels and have relatively lesser load bearing capacity. As a result, they are less durable and less preferable as compared to a yoga wheel.
Are yoga wheels good for your back?
Yoga wheels are completely safe for your practice and have immense benefits in terms of improving the efficacy of your sessions. They are specially useful if you are a beginner and have trouble getting into deeper stretches.
Is it worth buying a yoga wheel?
Yoga wheel is one of the most costly yoga accessory in the market today. So some hesitation before investing money in it is only logical. The yoga wheel is an excellent yoga prop for both beginners and advanced practitioners and is definitely worth the money. For beginners, it allows to do the basic yoga poses with proper alignment without risking injury. For advanced practitioners, it can be used to make the poses harder.