Yoga has been known to have many positive effects on the body and mind, but did you know that a recent study shows that yoga can be very effective for people who experience lower back pain. It is important to note that only specific poses are effective for decreasing lower back pain and to be aware that some poses may be more of a threat to lower back pain than others.
The recent study was developed and researched by researchers at the Boston Medical Center with the help of yoga teachers, doctors, and physical therapists. The participants were broken into three groups: the first group went to weekly yoga classes for 12 weeks and then practiced yoga on their own at home during the days they did not have class; the second class went to physical therapy sessions for 15 weeks and practiced physical therapy exercises at home on their off days as well; the third group was not required to attend any classes or sessions and was given materials to read and perform at their own leisure.
Before the study was performed, the participants detailed that 70% of them took pain medication to alleviate their pain. At the end of the study, the first two groups who performed yoga and physical therapy poses and exercises reported that only 50% of them were still taking pain medication. A pretty significant drop.
Yoga encourages the strengthening of specific muscle groups throughout each pose. These muscles and muscle groups become stronger by holding the positions, which can help strengthen the muscles that may be causing the back pain by being too weak. Many of the poses that are recommended will stretch out the hamstring muscles which helps expand the motion in the pelvis. This decreases stress across the lower back.
Posture, balance, and body alignment are part of the key components of the many benefits that yoga presents to the body. If you continuously practice yoga, you will see a dramatic improvement in posture and an increased sense of balance. Maintaining the natural curvature of the spine by having proper body alignment will help reduce lower back pain.
Lastly, yoga is helpful in being aware of your body. It will help you understand your body’s limitations and help you understand what type of movements you should be avoided to prevent injury.
Yoga positions that can help with lower back pain include cat-cow, triangle pose, child’s pose, Supine hamstring stretch, two-knee twist, Sphinx, and pigeon.