Experts Swear By Yoga For Reducing Back Pain
Experts say that Yoga and Exercise may be a better solution to lower back pain than opioids or anti-inflammatory pills.
Can Yoga Alleviate Back Pain?
Experts say that most of us suffer from back pain at least once in our lifetime. It is a very common syndrome and is one of the main causes for patients to visit their doctor.
Experts say that any back pain that lasts up to four weeks is called, acute back pain. Pain that lasts four to 12 weeks is called, sub-acute whilst any pain lasting longer than 12 weeks is called, chronic. The causes for back pain vary, however in most cases it is non-specific.
Generally, anti-inflammatory pills are prescribed to patients in order to reduce the pain. Yet, recent studies have found that regular exercise and Yoga are better solutions to treating back pain. However there are controversial opinions regarding its effectiveness.
This is predominantly because experts have found that exercise may reduce lower back pain intensity and speed up the patients recovery. But, will not necessarily stop its recurrence.
Are Painkillers Better in Moderation?
Experts have conducted studies on people to determine the effects of painkillers. JAMA Internal Medicine found that ‘for people with chronic low back pain who tolerate the medicine, opioid analgesics provide modest short-term pain relief but the effect is not likely to be clinically important within guideline recommended doses. Evidence on long-term efficacy is lacking. The efficacy of opioid analgesics in acute low back pain is unknown.’
Experts say that whilst anti-inflammatory pills may reduce chronic pain in the short; after the long-term they may heighten your risk of:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding.
- Heart Attack.
- Skin Reactions.
- High Blood Pressure.
- Kidney Damage.
It is recommended that patients use pain killers as a short-term solution to reduce chronic pain, but not as a long-term treatment. As a result, exercise is favoured for long-term pain reduction, decreased disability and lumbar spine stability instead.
Exercise Programs Must Include:
- aerobic activity
- movement instruction
- muscle strengthening
- postural control
Most importantly, as expressed by The Yoga Journal ‘multiple studies have shown the power of Yoga, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back soreness.’ It is the ideal solution to replace your pills with.
How Does Yoga Heal The Spine?
According to experts on Spine Health.com, ‘Hatha yoga incorporates a series of poses called Asanas, while relying on a breathing technique, referred to as Pranayama. By adopting very basic and sometimes very complex body postures and breathing techniques, the goal of Yoga is to provide the practitioner a number of physical and mental benefits.’
These are the benefits of using Yoga to reduce back pain:
- Increases the strength in specific muscle groups, improving posture and movement.
- Stretching which promotes relaxation and flexibility in muscles and joints.
- Improves balance and body alignment.
- Awareness of how you should and should not move your muscles.
Everyday Health recommends the following Yoga poses to alleviate back pain and reduce muscle tightness.
This Yoga pose stretches your entire body targeting your back extensors which form your lower back, stretch your spine and aid in lifting and standing.
2. Child’s Pose
This is a great pose to de-stress after a long day at work. It actively engages your muscles by elongating your entire back.
This pose stretches your hip flexors and rotators, loosening up your hips. Tight hips can be the cause to lower back problems.
Both the legs and the back are strengthened here. The pose also stretches the muscles along your torso as well as the muscle fibres on your hip.
5. Cat and Cow Pose
An ideal pose to use as a warm-up and loosens your back muscles.
6. Upward Forward Bend
This pose is great for stretching the hamstrings and back muscles while providing a release for tight, tense shoulders.
7. Upward-Facing Dog
A pose that opens up your chest, stretches your abdominal muscles and engages your back.
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which involves regular exercise and a well-balanced diet in order to reduce the burden of chronic back pain. Remember that painkillers are there to alleviate chronic pain in the short-term but become problematic to your health in long-term treatment. Everything should be in moderation.