Yoga relieves Chronic Pain
Teachers and practitioners often swear by the pain-relieving benefits of Yoga for the Low Back. Due to an increase in research into these claims, the medical community is exploring Yoga’s efficacy in the treatment for Chronic Pain. An example of this is the ground-breaking study, published by the American College of Physicians. It is called “Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians“.
The study describes Yoga, exercise and massage as more efficacious in the treatment of Low Back Pain than pharmacological interventions. It concludes, “given that most patients with acute or subacute Low Back Pain improve over time, regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment.”
Most likely, this conclusion was due in part to the risks associated with certain pain-relieving medications. As Yoga teachers, it’s not our place or our intention to influence a course of treatment suggested by one’s doctor. However, it is empowering for teachers and students alike to know that there is real pain-relieving potential in our own bodies.
Keeping our Spine Mobile
Since life has many twists and turns, our spine is bound to get bent out of shape from time to time. A healthy spine can and should move in all directions. But sometimes our day-to-day requirements over- and under-emphasize certain ranges of motion.
For example, a gentleman who worked at a desk job all day began frequenting my lunchtime Corporate Yoga class. He told me he had thrown his back out playing with his young kids. After a long day at work, he came home to his kids who were excited to see him. His kids ran up to tackle and hug him. When he bent, twisted and lifted up his kids, he tweaked his Low Back. The stresses of a long-held posture at work combined with sudden jarring movements was too much for his spine to handle.
After two months of daily stretching and Gentle Yoga, his back began to feel normal again. He’s kept up with his simple regimen of tension-taming Yoga. Now his long days at the computer don’t impede on playtime with his kids. This brings joy to his whole family.
Yoga… of the Gentle kind
As a way to manage day-to-day backaches, while preventing or recovering from injuries, Yoga can be as simple as a few counter-poses to what we do all day. It doesn’t need to be super active, hot, sweaty, or pretzel-like to keep our Low Back feeling good for the long-haul.
If you’re experiencing Low Back Pain, I encourage you to watch the video below. You’ll learn a few things and can start feeling better again!