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Can Yoga Help back pain?

Back Pain / April 5, 2017

An estimated 30 million people in the United States experience low back pain, ranging from mild to severe. Lower lumbar discomfort is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors or miss work, and health care costs of more than $50 billion annually are associated with back pain.

The good news is, moderate back pain can be prevented and improved. Did you know basic stretching and yoga are two strategies that may help loosen up your back muscles and alleviate pain? Learn more about how yoga can help you get back to feeling better.

Does Yoga Help With Back Pain?

A clinical trial published in 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine compared yoga, stretching, and self-care for chronic moderate lower back pain. The study’s authors found that weekly yoga classes improved back function and reduced pain in people who took a class for 12 weeks.

How Does Yoga Work to Reduce Back Pain?

The postures you practice during yoga can help to strengthen various muscles in your abdomen and back. When these muscles are stronger, your posture improves, reducing stress on your back and decreasing pain.

The full-body stretching and flexing during yoga sequences promotes muscle relaxation and increases flexibility, which can reduce tension in stressed muscles. Stretching also can increase blood flow to the muscles and tissues throughout the body, decreasing muscle pain and fatigue.

When practicing yoga to relieve back pain, some poses may occasionally need to be modified if they involve extreme twisting or bending that could cause additional discomfort. If discomfort persists when postures are modified, you should stop and see your doctor.