According to the American Chiropractic Association’s website, 31 million Americans have low back pain at any given time. Back pain is the second leading cause of missed work, and costs 50 billion dollars a year to remedy. [Back Pain Facts and Statistics]
Most back pain is not caused by serious conditions, but by overuse. [Causes of Low Back Pain]. This means that, not only are most cases of back pain curable, but many of these cases of back pain are preventable.
A 2005 study reported by the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that yoga is more beneficial than exercise, and research, in combating chronic low back pain. Though the study only lasted 3 to 6 months, and contained just 101 people, patients in the yoga group reported less back pain after 26 weeks than those in the exercise and education groups. [Comparison of Yoga, Exercise, and Education for Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain]
How can Yoga benefit back pain sufferers?
Fred Busch writes that yoga strengthens muscles while relaxing the body, improves balance and flexibility, and may help you get in touch with your body in a way that helps avoid dangerous motions or over-exerting/stretching your body. [How Yoga Helps the Back]
Many people can do yoga, even people who are not athletically inclined.
Yoga combines low-impact, easy-to-do poses with the time-saving benefits of short workouts. Yoga routines can be done in as little as ten minutes, and you can continue to do easy yoga poses for as long as you feel comfortable, because basic poses are just as beneficial as complicated ones. If you need a bigger challenge, learn advanced poses when your body is ready, and lengthen your routine as you find time.
You don’t need to know dozens of poses to reap benefits from daily yoga. Many yoga poses overlap and target the same muscles. Cow pose and cobra pose stretch the lower back. Forward bend and triangle pose stretch the hamstrings.
Degree of difficulty is what separates most yoga poses from the easy and the difficult. Cobra is easier than camel, and cow is easier than cobra, even though these three poses are great at stretching and strengthening the lower back.
And because there are such a variety of poses to choose from, you never have to do the same routine twice. You can easily parry boredom by learning new poses or by practicing posses you haven’t used in weeks.
1. Back Pain Facts and Statistics, The American Chiropractic Association
2. Causes of Low Back Pain, WebMD.com
3. K.J. Sherman, D.C. Cherkin, J. Erro, D.L. Miglioretti, and R.A. Deyo, Comparison of Yoga, Exercise, and Education for Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain, Annals of Internal Medicine
4. Fred Busch, How Yoga Helps the Back, Spine-Health