Does Yoga Really Help for Back Pain?
The practice of yoga is an ancient one—the earliest form dates back to approximately 3,000 BC. Today, yoga is synonymous with exercise and healthy living. You may have heard it’s great for building flexibility and strength (and a whole host of other health benefits). But you’ve got back pain and you want to know will it help?
The good news is that studies have evidence that yoga may indeed help relieve back pain. A Boston University Study of 320 participants found that “Yoga is effective for mild to moderate chronic low back pain (cLBP)...” In a separate study conducted by Dr. Erik J. Groessl and his team from the VA San Diego Healthcare System, 150 veterans with chronic low back pain were tasked with completing a 12-week yoga program. The 12-week yoga intervention was based on hatha yoga (this branch of yoga focuses on postures and breathing techniques). The results? The veterans had “better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use.”
While you may, with good intentions, get ready to hop into yoga right away, you should assess the severity of your back pain. It’s possible that your pain is too severe for you to complete yoga postures (or even worse, ironically incur injuries if your body cannot handle it or if not done properly). It’s best to consult with your physician before starting a new physical regimen.
Online Yoga Resources