Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise throughout the world.
It is a wonderful way to still the mind, relieve stress, tension and recreate and maintain a healthy body. However Yoga can also help you reduce back pain and maintain a strong posture for life.
Although there is much more to yoga than just exercise, here I want to highlight the benefits of doing yoga to prevent and reduce back pain.
Asanas, which are the poses within the practice of yoga help stretch and strengthen important core muscles which support everything you do. For example gently stretching the psoas muscles is a common back pain reliever, as is stretching and strengthening your glutes and erector spinae muscles.
Practicing yoga for even a few minutes a day can help you gain more awareness of your body. You begin to notice where you are holding tension and where you may have imbalances that are causing your pain – using this awareness to bring yourself into balance and alignment..
Research has found that people who practice yoga can experience moderate decreases in pain intensity in the short term and increases participants function over the mid to long-term.
One small study published in 2017 at Annals of Internal Medicine in which participants with chronic back pain were assessed over the course of a year for the effects of either doing regular yoga practice or engaging in physical therapy, shows that both groups had an improvement in pain and activity limitation, and were less likely to use pain medications within three months.
Although recent research supports yoga practice as a way to treat back pain, further studies are needed to really substantiate these findings.
If you’re dealing with back pain, yoga may be just the thing to get you back on track. Yoga when done correctly is a very safe and effective healing aid for a whole range of ailments including back pain, however it may not be appropriate for everyone.
It is important for beginners and experienced practitioners alike, ease into the asanas to avoid injury or exacerbating any back pain symptoms.
You may well prefer hands on learning and want to take classes, and with yoga studios popping up everywhere, it shouldn’t be a hard to find a class that suit your needs!
We encourage you do get into the habit of gentle daily stretches and Yoga is a great way to incorporate this into your life and once you learn the basics, you can intuitively create your own sessions.