When it comes to treating back pain, there are times where medicine isn’t enough and surgery isn’t an option. It’s common in these cases that we recommend patients to do light yoga to slowly treat their back pain issues. Because September is National Yoga Month, we thought it’d be a good time to discuss why people with back pain issues should consider practicing yoga.

Why yoga?

Quite simply: Yoga is an excellent method for massaging and stretching muscles in ways that ultimately will strengthen your muscles and reduce soreness. Practicing yoga regularly often leads to better flexibility and balance by gradually stretching muscles. It can also help improve posture while toning your muscles in a way that other, more intense workouts do.

It treats the whole body

It’s important to remember that the back doesn’t only hold up upright, but that it is connected to the larger muscular system that is our entire body; the different parts interact with each other so that we may walk, run, jump and perform other physical activities. Anyone who’s had nerve pain such as sciatica understands these connections, as the pain often originates in the back and travels down through the legs. Yoga is great for treating a variety of back problems over time, but it also treats the entire body as a single system. Many basic yoga poses stretch muscle groups, and when done right and lead by a professional, the complementary muscle groups are stretched in succession, ensuring no single muscle group gets overworked.

Do I need to do all those crazy poses?

This is a common question from people who have never done yoga and are skeptical about its benefits. As any yoga instructor will say, absolutely not! Yoga’s all about doing what you can. There’s no need to push the body beyond its limits. And in fact, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Ask an instructor for help, and make sure they’re aware of your specific issues.

Yoga improves self-awareness

One of the best benefits of yoga isn’t just physical, it’s mental. Yoga can help improve self-awareness of the body, which in turn helps identify potential physical problems earlier. And the earlier those problems are caught, the easier it is to treat them properly and to avoid long-term issues.

About National Yoga Month

Developed and promoted by the National Yoga Foundation, September is National Yoga Month, where people across the country attend local events to celebrate the health benefits of yoga. There are a ton of great benefits of yoga, from improved muscle tone to better mental health. Throughout this month participants can attend special yoga events and even get a free week of yoga at participating yoga studios. More information can be found at http://www.yogahealthfoundation.org/yoga_month.

Are you or a loved one are suffering from chronic pain?

Be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our pain specialists. We treat many conditions and injuries of the back, neck, and spine by taking a whole-person approach to care. Our focus is getting you back on your feet in good health. In Maryland call 301.703.8767, or call 724.603.3560 in Pennsylvania to make an appointment.

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