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Harvard Health Blog
Yoga can help ease low back pain
- By Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health
About the Author
Peter Wehrwein, Contributor, Harvard Health
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
This is true that yoga can really help lower back pain that really can help everyone especially those dancers. It can also relieve stress and can be a mind relaxing exercise. The good thing is that everyone can do it by doing the steps gradually so you can perform it well. Maybe its good to do it with full mind set and no other emotions will bother you.
Yoga is gaining popularity more and more these days especially when speaking of treatment on back pains. I never tried this before but I know a lot of people recommend this because it works on them.
Although no one treatment works for everyone, many aspects of yoga make it ideal for treating back pain and neck pain. For example, studies have shown that those who practice yoga for as little as twice a week for 8 weeks make significant gains in strength, flexibility, and endurance, which is a basic goal of most rehabilitation programs for back pain or neck pain.
Thank you for this blog post, it was just what I was looking for.
i love yoga thanks for this blog.
Possibly the best way to deal with chronic low back pain that is not caused by serious medical conditions will prove to be the Alexander Technique. A major study published in the British Medical Journal in 2008 found that 24 lessons in the technique reduced chronic low back pain by an average of 86% even a year after the lessons were completed. A similar large Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT)is just starting in England to determine the effectiveness of the technique for neck pain. Results are expected to be similar to the back pain study.
As a self-proclaimed divorce counselor for stretching… an exercise itself cannot hurt you. Stretching in the ways we were taught is showing its harm primarily in the ways people are moving without awareness or being proprioceptively challenged. By forcing a range of motion, the stretch reflex can kick in and the muscles re-contract back to a set point.
Thus the exercise or pose is not what is the problem… it is relearning how to move and this is where our healthy animals can show us the way through the act of pandiculating or as it is known, pandiculation.
Animals naturally stretch or so we thought. They are actually contracting their muscles, ie shortening them and then allowing them to release. This partial or entire body act is what we did as children to relax our muscles and nervous system.
The next time you wakeup in the morning and stretch – pay attention to what it is you are contracting and letting go of. This level of awareness changes your nervous system.
In 1680, you may recall that Herman Boerhaave, the founder of clinical medicine noted that a pandiculation can relax the muscles.
Fast forward to 1990, where Thomas Hanna wrote Somatics and showed us a system of exercises, known as somatics exercises which are merely systematized pandiculations to help us re-learn how to move well and mitigate noxious signals.
When we attempt any exercise or yoga movement… if done with a conscious awareness of what we are doing while we are moving and then backing away… we can cortically inhibit unwanted muscular contractions thus easing & regaining mobility, restoring natural flexibility and feel our pains go away.
This readjustment of our nervous system means we can modify movements in yoga or any other exercise platform and use pandiculation for the very therapeutic and restorative means it has been reported for the past few hundred years.
I’m waiting for the brain images to confirm what many people have experienced in moments… back relief made easy and simple by restoring natural movements so we can go to a yoga class or do exercise to our heart’s content.
Hanna Somatic Educator
Yoga is indeed becoming as one of the most effective management for low back pain. However, one should never overdo it, otherwise back pain might aggravate. Hence, it is safe to seek medical approval before enrolling into a yoga class if back pain is a problem experienced.
yoga is the best way to keep some one fit . and removing the back pain is like getting back your spinal chord in a new way .which makes you feel free and confident.Master Your Mind, Body, And Spirit with Acteva!
Yoga is one of natural means to maintain or regain personal health naturally.
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I’m a yoga teacher in England, teaching five classes per week to 15 – 20 students per class, as well as working with private clients. I recently asked all of my students for testimonials and feedback, and was amazed to hear how many of them had come to yoga because of injuries from other sports, back pain, shoulder pain and the like. Now, they are able to do things like touch their toes comfortably, bend backwards and move in ways that may have felt impossible at one point. One man had acute sciatica last Christmas, could barely walk, and six months later, with only one class per week, he says his back feels great in a way that he never imagined was possible. Other people in class have overcome their injuries and are playing sports again with increased strength and stamina because of their yoga practice. It’s amazing what yoga can do, aside from what the double-blind studies say. Just ask the people who do yoga, or give it a try yourself. Even if you’re a skeptic.
If you want to go for a good program of yoga teacher training than you should know that what they are providing in their course. One should aware in finding the difference in their basic and advanced course. To become a great yoga teacher you should have solid foundation and knowledge about basic skills. Here we are offer training programs for yoga teachers with at least 200 hours. We are having training with Cain Carroll, who is known for his worldwide teachings of yoga, meditation and self-healing.
I never tried yoga before, but I know it works from other people. When I first experienced back pain a friend recommended a massage cane (trigger point therapy tool) called Body Back Buddy and because the tool had a great effect I was never forced to look on other alternatives.
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Yoga is a great way to help reduce or eliminate minor back pain. We have recommended this to our dancers and stunt actors and it seems to be working out great.
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