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Can Yoga Actually Relieve Your Back Pain?

While yoga can have a wonderful effect on the back, those already suffering from back pain should be especially cautious before beginning a yoga exercise plan. It is important for a doctor to approve this approach to strengthening and aligning the spine. Yoga can be especially useful in alleviating pain from the following common causes:


  • A bulging disc
  • Injured muscles, tendons, or ligaments
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle strain
  • Sciatica

Yoga for Back Pain Relief

One type of yoga which is great for those with back pain is hatha yoga because it concentrates on postures that release muscle tension and balance their support of the spinal column. Doctors have found that some back pain is directly related to stress, and yoga postures and breathing help the body cope with tense situations more effectively. It would probably be best for those seeking back pain reliefs through yoga to avoid the following more difficult types:

  1. Bikram Yoga
  2. Ashtanga Yoga
  3. Kundalini Yoga

Though an excellent teacher may be able to help you adjust positions in these yoga disciplines, they can be really difficult for those with back pain in the beginning.

If you have approval from your doctor to use yoga to cope with back pain, you may want to begin by using some props during each yoga session. Instructors usually keep these available during classes, and they can help you ease your way into some of the poses until your muscles and joints adapt to the yoga routine. Some common props are the following:

  • Straps to help with balance and strength
  • Blocks to aid alignment and adjust heights
  • Blankets for elevating certain joints or to soften certain postures

Props are not a form of cheating. They can actually help you avoid painful injuries until your back muscles are strong enough to dispense with them. Your teacher can aid you in the proper placement of any props.

Gentle forms of yoga done with the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher can be the solution for some types of back pain. Yoga could be part of a program to reduce dependency on pain medications and will certainly improve reach and flexibility. If you would like to know more about the benefits of yoga, read through some of the articles that follow. Like others, you will find that yoga can make a great difference in your life. Get started today and prove it for yourself.

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Johannes Klupfel November 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I have a trapped nerve from my left lower back down to antiinflammatorymy left outside calf muscle. The pain is severe in my left calf region and I could not walk a few weeks ago. I am on painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets but with little effect. I find hot baths help a bit and I can now walk a little. Any advice welcome.

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