Back pain is a nightmare. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the world. Overall, back pain accounts for 264 million missed work days in the world!
Just think about the loss of productivity this illustrates.
If you are among the masses who suffer from back pain, know that there are ways you can get relief from it. One such method is yoga. Yoga was already quite popular, and with every passing year, more and more people are opting for it due to the benefits associated with it. In America alone, 36 million people practice it regularly.
While people tend to associate yoga with better flexibility and a calmer mind, yoga can also help relieve back pain.
How does yoga help?
Practicing yoga is an excellent way to soothe back pain. Yoga helps in relieving pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles that help support your spine and your back. This includes para-spinal, multifidus, and transverse muscle.
Para-spinal muscle is the muscle responsible for allowing you to comfortably bend your spine while the multifidus muscle and transverse muscle give stability to the vertebrae and spine, respectively. By strengthening these essential muscles and tendons of the body, yoga ensures that all symptoms related to back pain are relieved.
Holding yoga positions and muscular strength
The holding positions in yoga requires you to use specific muscles in your body. The concentrating on the holding positions and the particular muscle use both help in strengthening your back muscles.
Stretching and relaxation techniques
Yoga uses various stretching and relaxation poses. This helps in reducing tension in highly strained muscles. This boosts flexibility in the said muscles as well as ensure pain relief.
However, specific back problems and injuries can be caused by yoga if you don’t do it properly. This is why it is essential to research the right yoga poses, seek professional help and equip yourself with the right tools.
Unsure? Research proves it!
Research has also proven the link between yoga and back pain relief. In 2017, a study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
In the study, respondents were chosen, each of whom had low back pain. All of them was a military veteran, with an average age of 53. The participants were divided into two groups.
One group received standard care, which included physical therapy, medication and exercise. The other group was asked to complete a 12-week long yoga program. The yoga program lasted an hour long, two times a week and participants were encouraged to practice at home as well.
Specific poses were emphasized during this session that was targeted at stretching and strengthening the joints and muscles of the body. Moreover, relaxation and breaking methods were showcases to prevent pain perception further.
The study found that the yoga group reported much more relief in their back pain than the controlled group. At the start of the study, 22 percent of the participants in the yoga group were taking pain medications. By the end of it, the amount had decreased to 8 percent.
If this study is to be believed, then yoga does play a role in reducing back pain.
How to choose a yoga program for your back pain?
Now that you know how yoga helps in reducing the severity of back pain, the next question is how you should go about choosing a yoga program. Here is what you should do.
Seek the advice of your doctor
Whenever any back problem comes into the question, before you use any remedy to fix it, you must seek the approval of your doctor. This is especially true in the case of yoga.
This is because yoga if done wrong, can cause pain itself. So, you need to know which movements you need to avoid and which poses will be the best in combating back problems.
Ask for their advice regarding how to modify your session to ensure your safety. For instance, it is often said that yoga should be avoided during acute back pain’s first stage. You must wait for the inflammation and pain to go down before opting for yoga. And this is something only a healthcare professional can guide you about.
Select a yoga style
There is a plethora of yoga styles in the world. You need to decide which one you will practice. Some yoga poses are gentle, while others are very challenging and vigorous.
Some are targeting towards boosting your mental well-being while others are aimed at improving your physical ailments. Research on the various yoga styles and select one which can best help in relieving back pain.
Generally, a lot of people recommend Somatic and Yin Yoga for pain management. Yin toga involves holding onto given postures for a long enough time to release tension in tissues. Somatic yoga helps to change your subconscious movement so that you don’t move in a way that aggravates pain.
Also, don’t opt for aggressive styles like Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini. These are quite challenging for those with back pain.
Discuss with your yoga teacher
The best way to decide which yoga style and poses are best for you is by seeking the help of your yoga instructor. Let them know about your back problem and see what modifications they recommend to the conventional yoga poses.
The expertise of your yoga instructor can make or break the entire experience for you.
Therefore, make sure to opt for a quality teacher. Research about them and ask them about their credentials before availing their services.
In a world where back problems are widespread, you need to take proactive action to combat the issue. Stop relying solely on medications.
If you do it right, yoga can help alleviate your back pain. Get the right gadgets and resources. Avail the services of an expert yoga instructor. Decide on your yoga style and watch as slowly, your back pain ceases to exist.