Flow and pain relief
Practicing yoga can help people with back pain
Yoga has gone mainstream and research is starting to back up what yogis have been saying for years: Regularly practicing yoga may help relieve lower back pain. The evidence isn’t definitive and researchers still don’t understand why, but it probably has something to do with yoga’s potential for improving muscle strength and flexibility, reducing muscle tension, decreasing fear and avoidance of movement and reducing psychological stress. But yoga isn’t the answer for everyone’s back pain. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:
• Check with your doctor before beginning a yoga program. If your back pain is the result of a serious condition like a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or a vertebral compression fracture, yoga movements can make it worse.
• Know what type of yoga you’re signing up for. Kundalini, Ashtanga and Bikram (“hot”) yoga are specialized and may be too taxing for beginners.