Yoga For Back Pain Does More Than Just Relieve Pain

Yoga for Back Pain can be very helpful for Many Different Kinds of Problems

Not just for people with a "sore back". You should always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program but yoga can benefit many different kinds of people with many different kinds of problems.






People with a back pain disability, people with a back injury, women who are pregnant, people who are overweight, and others can benefit from some aspect of yoga. Yoga can be as physical and aggressive as you wish, depending on how hard you want to push yourself. Yoga can also be as mild and gentle as necessary to prevent injury and still yield great benefits.

Yoga for Back Pain is for Many Different Kinds of People

Yoga is different things to different people. Many people start yoga to simply relieve pain, and then find they gain more from the other aspects of yoga. The closer you look the more there is. 

The many different parts of yoga to explore include stretching to improve posture and relieve pain, strengthening to correct muscle imbalances, and meditation to calm your mind.

History of Yoga 

Yoga seems to have begun before the earliest recorded history. It is thought to have originated in what is now India. Archaeologists have found evidence of yoga dating back 5000 years and the cultural roots of yoga are still the subject of much debate.

The earliest written evidence of yoga is in sanskrit, a language that resembles many modern European languages. In the beginning yoga seems to have been more about philosophy and religion than exercise.

Over time different disciplines began to develop, but they all contained a common thread, they viewed the body as a temple that housed the human spirit of life. They began developing exercises and other techniques to strengthen the body, prolong life, and preserve the temple.

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Different types of yoga seem to emphasize the different aspects and different approaches to improving your overall health.  

  • Bikram Yoga uses many different stationary poses and is practiced in a hot (105°) and humid environment.
  • Hatha Yoga focuses on slow and gentle movements along with breathing exercises that can be helpful for relaxing at the end of the day.
  • Vinyasa Yoga is the most popular in the United States and incorporates more motion as you transition from one pose to the next.
  • Kundalini Yoga focuses on your "energy center" and emphasizes strengthening your core and back muscles.
  • Ashtanga or "Power Yoga" is more physically demanding with more rapid movements and cardiovascular exercise.
  • Iyengar Yoga is good for physical therapy as it focuses on alignment and posture using straps and belts and blankets as props to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Restorative Yoga uses a minimal variety of poses and focuses on breathing exercises and relaxation.
  • Prenatal Yoga for expectant mothers focuses on strengthening the core to manage the aches and pains of pregnancy as well as breathing exercises for childbirth.

These are just a sampling of some different types of modern yoga and many of these have branches and subdivisions that focus on different aspects of yoga for back pain.

Many Different Benefits 

The many benefits of yoga for back pain which all of these disciplines include are stretching movements, strengthening exercises, active meditation, and improved balance and posture.

Stretching To Improve Your Range Of Motion 

Use yoga for back pain to stretch tight muscles and ligaments that limit range of motion and contribute to chronic pain

A common cause of chronic back pain is tight muscles and ligaments that limit your range of motion. Abnormal or restricted range of motion causes pain because everyday activities such as that standing up straight and walking push your joints beyond what is comfortable.

Yoga will teach you easy stretching movements that relieve muscle tension and stretch ligaments, and begin to allow normal range of motion in all of your joints. Full range of motion in all of your joints is essential for comfort with normal everyday activities.

Stronger Muscles Relieve Pain 

A major cause of chronic back pain that develops after an injury is muscle imbalances. These can develop when you favor or protect an injured muscle. The protected muscle will become weaker and the muscle or muscles that are compensating become stronger.

If this imbalance is not corrected it can cause habitual changes in posture as well as lifelong pain and disability. Gentle exercises that are focused on alignment and posture will force the weak muscle groups to strengthen.

Meditation to Control Pain

The best pain management tool that we have is our brain. Unfortunately, many people never learn how to use this fabulous tool. The meditation aspect of yoga for back pain is a very effective way to learn to use your brain. Some people have learned these techniques so well they are able to endure surgeries and other painful experiences without drugs or anesthesia.

Through meditation you can learn to separate yourself from your pain. Taking the focus away from your pain makes it less overwhelming and easier to tolerate. But it takes practice and work to learn skills necessary for controlling a magnificent instrument such as your brain.

Improving Your Posture

Improving your posture can help relieve pain for almost all painful conditions. Better posture balances the forces of gravity on muscles and joints.

When your posture is hunched forward, from sitting at a desk or looking at a computer screen all day, it puts the weight of your head and shoulders in front of your center of gravity. This puts extra stress on the muscles and ligaments in your back.

Correcting your posture move your head and shoulders back over your center of gravity so they are balanced. When they are balanced the muscles are relaxed and your muscular pain is relieved. You may still have some pain from other conditions that you are living with but improving your posture will always make you better. 

Much More Than Just Relieve Pain 

The benefits of yoga are many and you should get started today. In the beginning it is probably best to find some classes to help you get started and make sure you are doing the exercises correctly.

Once you understand the techniques you can practice yoga in any setting that you prefer. Some people like practicing yoga in a class with other like minded people, or in a park as the sun is rising and no one is around. You can do these exercises at home with gentle music and scented candles to help set a relaxing mood.

Yoga is different things to different people. You may start yoga for back pain and find that you have entered a relaxing world with many other benefits and pleasures besides relieving pain.

Maybe these can also help:

Pilates For Back Pain

Yoga For Sciatica

Yoga Journal

Return from Yoga for Back Pain to Back Pain Treatments

Return to Living with Back Pain



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