Yoga’s extremely beneficial for those who want to be healthier or in better shape overall, both physically and mentally. It’s also a great way to help reduce lower back pain and other types of chronic pain. A quick Google search produces an assortment of tips, guides and methods for using yoga to reduce lower back pain. Many provide readers with multiple poses, usually between 5 and 9, complete with instructions and images for each pose.
If you already have an exercise routine, a good time for yoga is after your regular workout. Add the poses in and practice them daily, or at least every other day. If not, pick a time of day where you’re awake, feel relaxed and can focus—being able to focus is key to being mindful of your body, what it’s telling you and whether you not you’re doing the yoga poses correctly. Incorrect stretching can cause pain to worsen.
Also consider stretching or adding a few poses in during the workday, especially if you spend the whole day sitting. We all spend a lot of time sitting. On the drive to and from work. At work. While we’re eating. While we’re relaxing after a hard day. This causes muscle tension, tightening and strain on the lower back. Releasing this tension through proper stretching can help reduce lower back pain. And doing so periodically, in addition to a daily or every-other-day yoga routine, can increase pain relief.
Maybe you’re yoga routine is in the morning or evening, but you sit all day at work. Think about stretching during your lunch hour or another break. Or even after work, before a long drive home. Don’t have a long enough break? Try to explain the situation to your employer. They may be willing to give you extra time for stretching. After all, if it helps reduce chronic pain, then it will most likely you’re work productivity, too.
Breathing exercises are a large part of yoga and can be used as a method to help you manage pain. Even if you’re unable to do yoga or another type or stretching, consider doing daily breathing exercises. You can benefit both mentally and physically. And doing them now may even help you get to the point where you’re more capable and able to benefit from yoga in the future.
Not all stretches and exercises are equally beneficial or even appropriate for everyone at any given time. Some can cause certain injuries or types of pain to become worse. For example, if you suffer from sciatica or have a slipped disc, some deep poses or bends in certain directions can make your condition worse.
Don’t just jump in try to be a pro at yoga, either. It takes time to build up the ability to hold poses or stretches for an extended time. And a beginner shouldn’t necessarily even try certain poses until they’re more experienced or knowledgeable in their routine. Take you’re time, and be careful not to overexert or injure yourself by doing too much at the start.
Speak with your healthcare professional prior to starting yoga or another type of exercise routine, and they can help you decided whether or not certain routines are right for you. Alternatively, if you feel comfortable beginning on your own, be mindful of your own limitations. If at any time you feel an increase in pain, stop that particular stretch, pose or exercise, and speak with your healthcare professional about the effect it had on you.
If you have any questions about yoga as a way to reduce lower back pain or another type of chronic pain, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below. Alternatively, contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss further treatment options and what’s best for you.