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Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain

Low Back Pain

Natural Exercise Therapy for Lower Back Ache

Today one quarter Americans suffer from chronic low back pain.

Things have been getting worse recently. A recent survey by the American Pain Foundation found that seven out of every 10 people who experienced acute back pain in the past year said that the recession caused, increased or affected their pain. Acute back pain may lead to chronic back pain.

Current treatments for chronic low back pain include pain relievers, surgery, and physical therapy. But most people with chronic low back pain first try to combat it with physical therapy to avoid unnecessary pains and high costs from injecting pain relievers or surgery. Among all kinds of therapeutic exercises in physical therapy, yoga is regarded as one of the best choices.

Research Proves Yoga is a Good Natural Way for Low Back Pain Relief

In 2006, the Settled-based Group Health Cooperative’s Center for Health Studies (GHCCHS) found that yoga is more effective than conventional exercises such as aerobic, strengthening, and stretching exercise in healing chronic low back pain.

In 2009 researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center found that Hatha yoga may be more effective than standard treatment for reducing chronic low back pain. In the study, yoga participants’ use of pain medicines decreased by 80 percent, while their pain scores decreased by one-third.

Before Doing Yoga Exercise for Lower Back Pain Healing

There are some things to consider before beginning your yoga practice:

  • Low back pain stemmed from injury and trauma to the spine (i.e. back pain that results after a fall or injury) should be diagnosed and treated by a physician clinically trained in spine care as soon as possible.
  • Severe back pain caused by a ruptured or herniated discs should consider surgery.

Tips for Yoga Exercise for Low Back Pain

Remember the following before beginning your yoga practice:

  • People interested in learning yoga for relief of low back pain should choose an instructor who is experienced working with students who have this condition.
  • Viniyoga is recommended. The participants in GHCCHS’s study chose viniyoga, a style that’s easy to learn and allows poses to be adapted for use by various body types.
  • Excessive or immoderate yoga exercise may cause body injuries and severer back pain. In GHCCHS’s and BUSM’s studies, the yoga group participated in 12 weekly 75-minute classes that included postures, breathing techniques, and meditation, and were encouraged to do home practice for 30 minutes daily.