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The Power of Yoga for Pain Management

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 20 Feb, 2023

Long-term pain can have a big effect on daily life. Though there are many ways to treat pain, such as with medicine and physical therapy, many people may want to try an alternative to medication, as well as finding a solution they can do themselves to feel more independent. One such option is yoga. In recent years, research has shown that yoga practices can help people deal with pain, making it a popular choice for people who want to take control of their health. This blog will talk about how yoga can help with pain and give tips on how to do yoga at home.

Why is Yoga Information Important?

Yoga is becoming more and more popular as a way to deal with pain in addition to other treatments. Research has shown that doing yoga can help ease pain, make your body work better, and improve your quality of life. A 2017 systematic review found that yoga helped people with chronic non-specific low back pain feel less pain and improve their physical function. A 2016 meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that yoga was effective at reducing chronic pain in a variety of groups, including people with musculoskeletal pain, cancer-related pain, and chronic headaches. With more and more evidence showing that yoga can help people deal with pain, it is important for people who are in pain to think about adding yoga to their treatment plan.

For those interested in practicing yoga for pain management, there are several poses and practices that can be done at home. Here are some simple and effective poses to help alleviate pain:

Child’s Pose
This gentle pose is a great way to stretch the lower back and hips. Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and your big toes touching. Lower your hips back towards your heels, stretching your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the mat and take several deep breaths.
Cat-Cow
This dynamic stretch can help alleviate tension in the back and neck. Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. On an inhale, arch your back and lift your tailbone towards the ceiling. On the exhale, round your spine and bring your chin towards your chest.
Downward-Facing Dog
This pose can help stretch the hamstrings and relieve tension in the back. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling, straightening your arms and legs. Keep your head and neck relaxed and breathe deeply.
Pigeon Pose
This pose can help alleviate tightness in the hips and lower back. Begin on your hands and knees, with your right knee behind your right wrist and your right foot angled towards your left hip. Stretch your left leg out behind you, keeping your toes pointed. Rest your forearms on the mat and take several deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Yoga is a powerful tool for managing pain. Research has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing pain and improving physical function, making it a popular choice among those seeking relief. People can enjoy the benefits of this ancient practice in the comfort of their own homes by doing yoga. Yoga is getting more and more support as a way to deal with pain, so it's important for people to think about adding it to their treatment plan. By doing this, they can take an active role in managing their pain and improve their quality of life as a whole.

References:

  • Büssing, A., Michalsen, A., Khalsa, S. B. S., Telles, S., & Sherman, K. J. (2012). Effects of yoga on mental and physical health: A short summary of reviews. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 165410. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/165410
  • Cramer, H., Lauche, R., Haller, H., Dobos, G., & Berger, B. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of yoga for low back pain. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 29(5), 450–460. https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0b013e31825e1492
  • Holtzman, S., Beggs, R. T., & Haley, W. E. (2013). Effectiveness of yoga for chronic low back pain: A review of the literature. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 7(4), 250–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827612467071
  • Kizhakkeveettil, A., Rose, K., Kadar, G., & Benny, M. (2019). The effect of yoga on pain, fatigue, and quality of life in women with breast cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 25(10), 987–1004. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2019.0159
  • Posadzki, P., Lizis, P., Hagner-Derengowska, M., & Büssing, A. (2020). Yoga for musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(9), 2849. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092849
  • Saper, R. B., Boah, A. R., Keosaian, J., Cerrada, C. J., Weinberg, J., Sherman, K. J., & Yeh, G. Y. (2017). Comparing once- versus twice-weekly yoga classes for chronic low back pain in predominantly low income minorities: A randomized dosing trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017, 6580306. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/6580306

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