How can yoga help my back pain? | Dr. Andrew Cash, MD Las Vegas, Nevada

By Brooke Strickland and Dr. Andrew Cash

For thousands of years, athletes, children, adults, and seniors, have been part of yoga.  And especially in recent years, Yoga has become a popular activity, whether it’s through yoga classes, yoga studios, or in-home yoga DVDs. Yoga is known for its ability to focus and discipline participants in many ways – physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The term “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj", which means "to yoke" the spirit and physical body together.

So can yoga help your back pain?  It’s possible.  There are many yoga poses that can help strengthen your muscles, help with posture, and enhance flexibility of your arms, legs, and spine.  It’s important to understand that there are other poses that can be damaging to your back, so working with your yoga instructor as well as your doctor, to understand your back and the pain you’re experiencing will be vital to getting the most out of your yoga sessions. 

For example, yoga can help you learn how to meditate, breathe deep, and put your mind at rest.  This simple technique can help bring calm and an overall sense of peace and relaxation to your body, which in turn, can help ease back pain.  In addition, there are a series of yoga poses that can help target specific areas of back pain,  such as those that help “lengthen” the hamstrings, or others that help you should always consult with a yoga professional first before starting them on your own.

Always consult with your doctor when it comes to any back pain you are feeling, so you have the information you need and tools to help jumpstart the healing process. 

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