Yoga as a remedy for chronic back pain

The vast majority of yoga practitioners start out for health reasons: sleeping disorders, stomach aches, headaches… but above all, back problems. Regular yoga practice is an effective way of helping chronic back pain disappear quickly and sustainably. Low back or neck pain can be caused by repetitive lousy posture, trauma, emotional shock, stress… All these causes often combine in a vicious circle that leads to muscle contractures, joint stiffness, and local inflammation. All these are sources of pain, not to mention psychological factors: the fear of feeling pain when moving encourages immobility, which aggravates stiffness and therefore pain, even when there’s less stress.

Yoga proposes progressive movements that stretch, mobilise, restore flexibility and release tension, loosening the body, probably with an analgesic effect (muscle relaxant). Unlike drug treatments, there are no side effects, but rather a gradual, solid improvement, accompanied by a general sense of well-being and fullness. Taking back control of our bodies restores our confidence and encourages the pleasure of movement.

Various scientific studies demonstrate this: for example, a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Pain confirmed the positive impact of yoga practice on neck pain, with a more general improvement in quality of life. Another study published in March 2016 in the journal JAMA confirmed the benefits of meditative practice in chronic low back pain, with meditation intervening at both emotional and cognitive levels. The effects of meditation are enhanced by specific postures: cat movements, forward bending, two-legged table, certain twists… to be adapted to each individual’s context.

What’s more, the better understanding of the body’s schema gradually made possible by yoga also helps avoid repetitive “bad” movements, which contribute to accentuating problems by their accumulation.

All this confirms that yoga (including meditation) acts on different levels of the human being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Beyond physical pain, yoga develops the ability to detach oneself from everyday worries and promotes fluidity and joie de vivre. Of course, this presupposes regular practice in weekly classes and at home, if only for a few minutes a day.

Motivation for the benefits of this practice should help!

(Source: Le journal du yoga)

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