Along with knee pain and even obesity, back pain is one of the most widely experienced health complications rendering individuals with feelings of disability today. While chronic back pain is often thought of as a negative side-effect of getting older, the “naturally occurring” symptom is actually completely preventable. While these methods are often utilized for different reasons, two techniques have proven to be fabulous in treating back pain for years — yoga and stretching.
Yoga and Stretching | Viable Solutions for Chronic Back Pain
A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has given those practicing yoga even more reason to voice the pain-relieving benefits of yoga. Researchers who performed the study compared the end result of three different groups of participants – 92 who took weekly yoga classes, 94 who took weekly stretching classes, and 45 who utilized exercise and lifestyle strategies from a “self-care” book. The researchers found what many might have expected; those taking the yoga and stretching classes received much more benefit than those using the book. Needless to say, the book is at a potential disadvantage since the activities are likely not performed in a group setting and more self-discipline is needed.
Karen Sherman, Ph.D and one of the study’s authors says:
“Persons with chronic low back pain who attended a series of yoga or stretching [classes] had equivalent and clinically important improvements in their back-related dysfunction and symptoms that lasted for at least 14 weeks after the end of the study”
Of course there are many different specific conditions which can result in chronic back pain, many of which can still be targeted with the use of yoga. People who suffer from a herniated disc may feel pain relief by implementing yoga techniques which extend the back by bending backward. Similarly, a spinal stenosis can be helped by emphasizing flexion, or bending forward.
The easiest way to avoid chronic back pain and other back-related complications is undoubtedly to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly with an emphasis on the midsection of the body is great way to keep your muscles strong. Always shy away from a sedentary lifestyle, as that can ultimately be one of the main contributors to virtually all health complications.