Are you among the twenty-six million Americans who suffer from chronic back pain? Back pain is the most prevalent and debilitating health condition around today, and remarkably, it makes up the largest treatment category of medical claims. Standard medical treatments often focus on physical symptoms, but leave unaddressed the mental distress caused by prolonged chronic back pain. Alternatively, yoga therapy uses effective techniques that reduces back pain and provides calming practices to overcome mental and/or emotional hurdles.
Is there evidence to support Yoga Therapy’s effectiveness?
Yes! The benefits of yoga therapy have been validated through clinical trials from Virginia University, Washington University, and York University that compared various recovery treatments of patients suffering from back pain. The patients that received yoga therapy, in addition to standard medical treatment, showed greater back functionality and reduction of pain sensitivity. Clients of Los Angeles based, re:YOGA Therapy, share the consensus of these research findings, often reporting relief in as little as a couple of sessions.
How does Yoga Therapy help reduce back pain?
Most modern healing modalities neglect to incorporate the powerful benefits from mindfulness, breathing, and meditation to bring balance to the various responses produced by the central nervous system in today’s modern lifestyle. Yoga therapy techniques bring alignment, mobility, and stability to the spine and may incorporate techniques from physical therapy to meet your specific needs.
In addition, Yoga Therapists will typically encourage the practitioner to become more aware of their daily habits, behaviors, and movement patterns that may be underlying sources of pain. For example, our body’s mechanic while standing, sitting, walking, running, bending, lifting, reaching, and sleeping play a large role in our spinal health. Those in acute pain may be given breathing exercises or meditation techniques to ease the nervous system so the practitioner can better cope with their situation. In essence, our mental and emotional stress level has large implications that often goes unrecognized and is worthwhile to address when considering care for the spine.
Long-Term Benefits of Yoga Therapy
- Supplements the healing process
- Prevents future injuries through greater back functionality
- Sustains a healthy body and mind
- Reduces pain sensitivity
- Reduces or prevents pain medication dependency
Yoga therapy is an excellent alternative to modern healing practices in providing effective techniques to alleviate back pain. re:YOGA Therapy offers a unique approach which emphasizes educating the recovery, prevention, and maintenance of our clients’ back care needs. We offer personalized programs that assist in back pain as well as a wide range of other injuries and/or ailments. Regardless of age, background, or condition, re:YOGA Therapy can tailor a program to fit the specific needs of any client.
“Most of my clients come to me to seek reprieve from back pain. However, the greatest reward comes when they share how the practice spills into areas in their life that they would have least expected. Inevitably, everyone shares a unique story and it’s truly a blessing when someone places their trust and allows me to be a part of their process.”
~May Che, Yoga Therapist + Instructor
1) AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain. The American Academy of Pain Medicine. http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx
2) Hayden JA, van Tulder MW, Malmivaara AV, Koes BW. Meta-analysis: Exercise Therapy for Nonspecific Low Back Pain. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:765- 75. [PMID: 15867409]. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-9-200505030-00013
3) Johnson RE, Jones GT, Wiles NJ, Chaddock C, Potter RG, Roberts C, et al. Active exercise, education, and cognitive behavioral therapy for persistent disabling low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2007; 32:1578-85. [PMID: 17621203]. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318074f890.
4) Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC, Erro J, Miglioretti DL, Deyo RA. Comparing Yoga, Exercise, and a Self-Care Book for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:849-856. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-143-12-200512200-00003
5) Tekur, P., Nagarathna, R., Chametcha, S., Hankey, A., & Nagendra, H. R. (2012). A comprehensive yoga programs improves pain, anxiety and depression in chronic low back pain patients more than exercise: an RCT. Complementary therapies in medicine, 20(3), 107-118. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2011.12.009
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7) United Kingdom Back Pain Exercise and Manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. UK BEAM Trial Team. BMJ. 2004;329:1377. doi:10.1136/bmj.38282.669225.AE
8) Williams, K., Abildso, C., Steinberg, L., Doyle, E., Epstein, B., Smith, D., … Cooper, L. (2009). Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Efficacy of Iyengar Yoga Therapy on Chronic Low Back Pain. Spine, 34(19), 2066–2076. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181b315cc