Yoga ImageMuch research has been done to link yoga with treating or easing medical conditions. This post refers to Hatha Yoga, the most commonly practiced form of yoga in the United States, and is considered to be a discipline of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that are intended to provide a path towards the union of body, mind, and spirit. It is a meditative movement practice used for health purposes.

There have been numerous studies regarding the benefits of yoga:

  • Yoga has even been found todecrease depression. A report inExplore: The Journal of Science and Healing, stated, “Current research supports the idea that various yoga interventions can help participants improve self-reported perceptions of stress and well-being and decrease self-reported depression, dysthymia, and number of episodes of major depression.”
  • study of 90 people with chronic lower back pain found that participants who practiced Iyengar yoga had significantly less disability, pain, and depression after six months.
  • Another study in Annals of Internal Medicine took over 300 people with chronic or recurring lower back pain and split them in half. Half the group took yoga classes, and the other half had their usual care which did not include yoga. The yoga group had better back function at 3, 6, and 12 months than the usual care group.

Yoga has many health benefits, and certainly is worth a try if you are suffering from lower back pain. There are some exceptions though to this suggestion. Start out with a beginner’s class or beginner’s video. Yoga’s combination of stretching, breathing exercises, and core strength building can ease back pain. But as with any exercise program, it’s important to ease into it and not overdo it. If you have been told by a physician to avoid certain movements or exercises, check with your physician first before doing yoga or any other physical activity.

If your back pain is mild, definitely try yoga. If you have shooting pain, numbness, pain down your legs or in your buttocks, or pain that radiates, contact us. Or call our dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-890-1964.