Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Back And Shoulder Pain Specialist

Cheryl Hurst, PsyD

Health Psychologist located in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Dr. Cheryl Hurst offers yoga therapy in Chicago, for people with back and shoulder pain. Contact her to learn how she combines her expertise as a Health Psychologist, yoga instructor and yoga therapist to create individualized treatments that relieve back pain and shoulder pain through strengthening, stretching, and proper alignment, while helping you reduce psychological stress.

Back & Shoulder Pain Q & A

What causes back and shoulder pain?

Back pain is one of the leading reasons people take medication, visit a doctor and miss days from work or school. Back pain is also a leading cause of disability often due to weak muscles, muscle strains and injuries, nerve compression, worn discs in the spine, or arthritis. Shoulder pain often develops when muscles, ligaments, or tendons that support the shoulder joint are strained or injured. Chronic bodily pain changes your lifestyle in a negative and limiting way. You can no longer enjoy doing the activities you had been able to do pain-free. You are no longer the same vibrant you that you want to be.

How does yoga therapy relieve chronic back and shoulder pain?

After an initial assessment of your back or shoulder pain, Dr. Hurst uses specialized yoga therapy equipment and techniques to facilitate postures with proper alignment and body mechanics. Good anatomical alignment is the intelligent foundation that makes extended holds possible in order to facilitate deeper feeling, fuller opening, and greater release through the sequence of poses you experience during your session.

Treatment rehabilitates injuries and chronic pain naturally using gravity, tensegrity, breath and timing to improve circulation and create more space in tight joints, relieve tension and fatigue, and facilitate insight and clarity. Results include improved musculoskeletal and physiological functioning (e.g., flexibility, balance, energy and circulation). Custom-tailored postures relieve aches and strain, stress and body load, helping to eliminate back pain and shoulder pain.

Carefully planned, structured activity is the cornerstone of treatment to relieve back and shoulder pain, and that’s exactly what yoga therapy offers. Yoga therapy is recognized as a safe and effective way to relieve back pain and shoulder pain, which it accomplishes several ways:

  • Strengthens targeted muscle groups
  • Stretches muscles to improve motion and diminish stiffness
  • Widens spaces between vertebrae, which reduces pressure
  • Increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in and toxins to flow out
  • Improves posture, alignment, and balance
  • Relieves tension in shoulders and neck
  • Relaxes muscles via controlled breathing

While yoga will help for pain anywhere along the back and shoulders, it is especially beneficial for chronic low back pain and rotator cuff injury, where it may improve pain symptoms and increase mobility more than standard medical care.

What benefits will you gain from yoga therapy with Dr. Hurst?

In this therapy, you’ll work through a sequence of movements and postures, beginning at the level that fits your ability, and gradually progress to develop better strength, flexibility, and coordination. Your yoga sessions are always tailored to meet your needs and modified depending on the location and amount of your pain.

Dealing with chronic pain, especially in your back, takes quite a toll on your psychological health. When you can’t enjoy your usual daily life, it’s normal to feel distressed and depressed. Long-lasting pain can also rewire your brain to make you more sensitive and emotional, and more likely to experience more pain. Yoga breaks the cycle by helping you de-stress while relieving pain. And as a licensed psychologist, Dr. Hurst has the expertise to support you at many levels along the way.