How Yoga Helps Relieve Back Pain

your yoga practice Oct 03, 2017

If you’re like most people, at some point in your life, you are going to experience some type of physical suffering caused by problems related to your back. Much of this distress could be avoided if you took an ounce of prevention and began to perform simple exercises to keep your back healthy.

For a growing number of people, yoga has proven to be a safe and effective method to alleviate the misery and discomfort associated with body aches. If you’re tired of popping pills and enduring treatments perhaps it’s time you are introduced to this holistic method of healing.

Learn how yoga helps relieve back pain; it may well be the natural alternative you’ve been looking for.

Why yoga?

People from all walks of life, and across all age groups are realizing the benefits of a yoga practice. Nearly 37 million people in the US are attending yoga classes and the numbers continue to increase. Up from 20 million in 2012, interest in yoga has nearly doubled in a few short years. To put the numbers into perspective, this correlates to about one in ten people attending yoga classes.

The ancient modality of yoga is centered around uniting the mind, body, and spirit. It introduces you to tools that help you cultivate a higher level of consciousness; strengthening your body from the inside out.

The combination of yoga’s gentle movements, deep breathing and mindfulness techniques introduces your body to an elevated state of awareness. By bringing together physical and mental health benefits, it has motivated many back pain patients to incorporate yoga into their treatment regimen.


Benefits of a regular yoga practice for back pain

  • Yoga combines stretching and relaxation, reducing tension in stress-carrying muscles. One of the most immediate and obvious benefits to your body will be increased range of motion and improved flexibility in muscles and joints. By gradually stretching your muscles, a regular practice promotes stability and can protect your body from further injury.
  • The quality of your breath in many ways will define the quality of your yoga practice. Deep breathing exercises boost blood flow and can have a significant impact on your physiological and psychological well-being. Increased circulation delivers healing nutrients and emphasizes a relaxed body; allowing more oxygen to your blood cells and tissues.
  • Many of the postures in yoga gently strengthen the muscles in the back and abdomen. These muscles are essential components in the network of the spine; helping the body maintain proper movement. As well, because yoga challenges your body to work simultaneously to hold postures, it enhances endurance and stamina; developing a new level of discipline to your anatomy.
  • When your head is balanced over your spine it takes much less work for your neck and back to support it. Yoga will help you refine your posture, therefore, decreasing your chance of experiencing muscle and joint problems. Additionally, proper body alignment will help you maintain the natural curvature of your spine; an important part of reducing or avoiding back pain.
  • A regular yoga practice increases proprioception—knowing where your body is in relation to its surrounding space. Improved body balance enhances coordination; making it easier to move and helping you to react quickly to prevent injuries and accidents. This increased awareness can be a preventive measure, in that you will know what types of movements should be avoided.
  • Bone loss is serious business. Both men and women reach their maximum bone mass around age 30. After that, it's a matter of maintaining what you've got, and no one is immune from the inevitable decline. It’s well documented that the weight bearing exercise of yoga increases bone mineral density. By pitting one group of muscles against another, yoga exposes bones to greater forces and, therefore, might enhance bone mineral density more than other means.

Musculoskeletal disorders, particularly low back pain and osteoarthritis, are the most common cause of chronic disability in the world today according to recent statistics. In the US alone, more than 65 million people suffer from back pain, and it is the second most common cause of doctor’s visits.

Because your lower back supports your entire torso, taking care of it is extremely important. Practiced safely, yoga can offer you a great deal of relief from back pain as well as provide long-term preventive care for the future health of your entire body.

While yoga is known to be a remarkably safe and sound form of exercise, it is advisable to seek the opinion of, and work closely with, your health care provider before beginning any type of exercise program. Talk with your physician about how yoga helps relieve back pain; especially if you are prone to it.

Sit less, move more. Stretch, and strengthen your back with yoga’s gentle, therapeutic movements.

I am a corporate wellness consultant. As a master yoga instructor, I support in-house wellness programs, seminars, trade shows and executive retreats. I help business leaders build and maintain physical and mental well-being. If you would like to learn more about offering a health and fitness program to your busy management team contact me at [email protected] or 386.871.0582



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