This is a guest post contributed by Jack Woo
According to the latest research, doing yoga daily is more effective in healing your chronic back pain than other conventional back pain treatments. There are also more side effects as a result of using the conventional treatments, such as painkillers and muscle relaxants.
The researchers closely monitored 228 adults who suffer from acute and chronic back pain problems. They were separated into three groups with two groups attending daily yoga sessions and the remaining group doing different exercises for a few weeks.
At the end of the program they discovered that half the participants who attended yoga sessions felt much better compared with only 20% of the other group.
Yoga is not just a form of meditation as some people perceive it and the benefits are not just limited to strengthening muscles, improve flexibility and balance. Yoga is an extremely good therapy for relieving back pain, shorten recovery time, reduce swelling and increase blood circulation. Practising yoga daily will help improve your posture and keep your spine in proper alignment, which is essential in back pain treatment.
There are many forms and poses of yoga and not all can help your back pain. In fact some can even worsen your back condition. It is best to attend classes under the guidance of certified yoga instructors as they can advise on what poses are suitable for you.
Back strengthening poses serve not only to strengthen your muscles around the spine, but also help to activate your kidneys and tonify your body. Back releasing poses will help to reduce tension and muscle spasm and improve spinal mobility. These exercises will help to nourish your back muscles and muscle tissues, and are good for people suffering from back pain, especially lower back pain. Stretching other muscles in your body such as the hamstring and thigh will make them stronger and more flexible and lessen the amount of stress on your back. This will finally reduce the tension and back pain.
Performing poses on the floor are easier than standing poses as they require less strength and balance. One very important aspect of doing yoga is to learn how to breathe properly, especially when holding the poses. Choose poses with longer hold times (inhaling and exhaling) as they are easier to do.
When you master the art of deep and rhythmic breathing, your body will relax, freeing you of pain-inducing restrictions and eases proper circulation.
Do not eat at least one to two hours before you practise yoga and refrain from drinking too much water before the session.
You should practise yoga daily for an average of 30 minutes, depending on your schedule, objective and fitness level. It is better to practise more often with shorter duration than less often with longer duration as this will produce better result.
If you are seeking relief from back pain, yoga is certainly one of the best lower back pain exercises. Like all forms of exercises, do not push your body to the limits. If you still experience pain after doing yoga, stop and consult your doctor.
Jack Woo has a special interest in back pain, having suffered from it in the past. He shares with you his experiences and many back pain treatment options and prevention tips.
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