Guest Blogger Sophia Kaye

| 05/24/2019

Yoga Therapy for Alleviating Back Pain

Yoga Therapy for Alleviating Back Pain

Do you find yourself constantly dealing with back pain? According to a report by the World Health Organization, you're not alone. In fact, back pain is one of the most common health problems worldwide and a major cause of disability, affecting everything from work performance to everyday wellbeing. Fortunately, many cures exist that can alleviate the pain, such as exercising and stretching. With yoga therapy, both are combined into one remedy with a lot of benefits.

While this ancient practice is often touted for relaxation and fitness purposes, yoga can actually do much more than that. A previous post here on the Wellness Hub pointed out how it can ease different diabetic symptoms.

Now, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has found that yoga is a good alternative to medicine when dealing with back pain. In line with other methods like tai chi, yoga, and massages, yoga therapy is mostly geared towards patients with run-of-the-mill back pain. This means that most serious cases such as those caused by injuries or other conditions may require more drastic means.

Boston University professor Dr. Robert Saper explains that yoga works in easing back pain mostly due to its ability to strengthen the core and lower back muscles. On top of this, it also assists with mind-body relaxation. Although traditional health care experts might be skeptical about how effective it is, Saper is just one of the many medical professionals expanding practices outside the hospital. 

And in the case of yoga therapy, it provides a different perspective about the ins and outs of the human body. However, it's important to look for an experienced trainer or specialist who is properly trained in alignment and body mechanics. After all, yoga therapy isn't just about copying a series of poses, and therapists must know how to adapt each one to patients who may have varying ranges of motion.

With all this in mind, let's take a deeper look into yoga therapy's back pain-curing benefits below:

Mindful Breathing

A big part of yoga therapy is mindful breathing, and each session usually starts with a series of breathing exercises. That's because when you focus on breathing, you become more aware of the connection between your body and mind. It then allows your brain to relax, with your body following shortly after. You'll notice your muscles start to release and you might even get an endorphin rush, thus relieving the tension associated with back pain.

Proper Body Alignment

When it comes to treating back pain, body mechanics and alignment play vital roles. You might notice how some areas of your body are tighter, stronger, or more sensitive. This is completely normal, but it can cause you to misalign your posture or even make you more prone to injury. As such, yoga therapy can help you learn the proper alignment and allow your joint to become more mobile. It also gives you more strength and flexibility, letting you move more freely and with ease.

Therapeutic Relief

For those who aren't so flexible, there may be some pain when going into poses that are met with a certain level of resistance due to rigid muscles. Despite the discomfort, not all pain is particularly bad. In yoga therapy, resistance is a natural response of the body before it can start healing. However, instructor Lisa Vratny-Smith emphasizes the importance of beginning slowly and listening to your body. Being too aggressive can end up doing more harm than good.

Sophia Kaye is a seasoned digital nomad who frequently travels with her partner in a campervan. She uses her many experiences to fuel her creativity as a freelance writer and blogger. She is a hiking enthusiast, yogi and vegan.


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