Yoga- the ancient physical, mental and spiritual discipline - has been found to be a great intervention for chronic back pain. And many high level athletes use yoga as a part of their training and recovery programs. The physical stretches are the most helpful part of the recovery but let us not forgot that the mental aspect of the discipline is quite beneficial to recovery as well.
By holding a pose in yoga, our muscles strengthen. If you can hold it for about a minute and start to feel a burn you are strengthening your muscle. Yoga is a workout that reduces stress, increases flexibility and coordination.
Studies have found that sixty to ninety percent of adults will suffer from back pains. Outside the athletics world, we put our back through so much lifting, heaving, twisting and shoving in every-day life. Some of the numerous causes of back pains include: poor posture, excess body weight, herniated disc and degenerative disks to name a few. With all that work our backs are doing it’s not surprising that with 20 small intricate joints building our vertebrae, our backs are taking a beating. Add to that any athletic endeavor and it is obvious that we need to be mindful of our back health.
Although yoga is ideal for back pain recovery, simple stretching activities also work to help relieve the pain. The focus on mindfulness is what makes yoga differ from simple stretching. It calms the body and gives peace of mind. A large emphasis in yoga is good posture, which help counter the initial causes of the back pain. Before stretching your way into recovery, try asking a healthcare professional what works best for you.
Contact SIRC for more information on yoga!
Reference from the SIRC Collection:
(2012) Suffering from Low Back Pain? Maybe You Should Try Yoga. Tufts University health & Nutrition Letter, 29(12), 3.
Shepley Caron (2012). Yoga for Sports Performance: Why Yoga is an Athlete’s “Secret Weapon”. Presented at the 2012 Coaches of Ontario Conference. Retrieved from the Internet March 29, 2012.
Holingshead, Sue. Yoga for Sports Performance. Retrieved from IDEA Health & Fitness Association website March 29, 2012.