Suffering from chronic lower back pain? Perhaps a health nut friend suggested that you try yoga, but you brushed it off. In recent years, yoga has become more and more popular. There are hot yoga classes, yoga for pregnant women, and everything in between. But could it work for you?
The answer: Maybe. It all depends on your condition. If you have nagging lower back pain, whether from general aging or sitting for too long at work, yoga may be able to help. Yoga is a physical and spiritual discipline. Yoga helps to strengthen the body and make it more flexible through physical poses. Yoga also seeks to clear the mind. It is meant to be calming. A beginner’s yoga class may consist of various gentle poses, which can be altered based on your ability, as well as deep breathing and meditating.
If you are just starting out with yoga, some of the best types of yoga to try are Hatha yoga, Lyengar yoga, Kripaulo yoga, or Viniyoga. These all consist of safer, gentler poses. If you have a physician’s orders to avoid yoga, then by all means avoid it. But if you are able, it is an excellent way to improve flexibility and can help with minor pain. Yoga poses can also be tailored, and yoga instructors usually show a gentler way to do a pose, and a challenging way to do a pose for more advanced yoga students. To learn more about which style of yoga is right for you, click here.
A study in Annals of Internal Medicine took over 300 people with chronic or recurring lower back pain and split them in half. Half of the group took yoga classes and the other half had their usual care, which did not include yoga. Although only 60% of the group chosen to take yoga actually attended classes, they had better back function at 3, 6, and 12 months than the usual care group. The conclusion of the study was that, “Offering a 12-week yoga program to adults with chronic or recurrent low back pain led to greater improvements in back function than did usual care.”
So could yoga help you? The only way to know how is to try. You can look up beginner yoga poses on YouTube, do a yoga DVD, or attend a class. In the quest to relieve back pain, it can’t hurt to try.
If you have tried home remedies for back pain such as yoga, but you’re still in pain, contact us. Or call our dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-890-1964.