Are you one of 31 million Americans who experiences low-back pain? Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office and will affect 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. In most cases, back pain can be resolved without surgery and even prevented before it happens. Exercise, particularly core strengthening, is often recommended to alleviate and prevent low back pain. Depending on your particular condition, the wrong kind of exercise can actually make things worse.
For example, while it is true that the deep layers of abdominal muscles provide support for the low back, many exercise routines emphasize strengthening the outer abdominal muscles with sit-ups or crunches and neglect to strengthen the inner abdominal muscles and importantly, the back muscles themselves. The results over time are a weaker and more vulnerable low back with more pain, not less. Instead of an exercise routine focused on “six-pack” outer abdominal muscles, you are more likely to benefit from a therapeutic yoga practice that strengthens the deeper abdominal and back muscles in an integrated way while helping you develop overall strength and flexibility.
Research published in 2005 Archives of Internal Medicine reported that therapeutic yoga was more helpful than conventional therapeutic exercise in relieving symptoms of chronic low back pain. In 2013, researchers from Boston Medical Center found that a weekly therapeutic yoga class combined with practice at home produced substantial reductions in chronic low back pain and reduced the need for pain medication. Whether you’re experiencing low back pain currently or want to take preventive measures, a therapeutic
yoga practice could be the key to a healthy and happy low back, keeping you out of the doctor’s office today and for years to come.
For more information on yoga for low back pain relief, including our therapeutic small group classes and private sessions, visit www.northcoastwellness.com or call 216.269.6824.
Dawn teaches private & therapeutic yoga sessions, corporate yoga classes, and
studio-based group classes at multiple locations in Northeast Ohio. She has a
Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology and a long-standing interest in crosscultural
health and healing practices.