The Alternative Treatment for Lower Back Pain – Yoga Myth Debunked


The lower back

The lower back, or lumbar spine, is composed of bones, joints, ligaments, nerves and muscles that work together to support the weight of the upper body. The lower back region provides support for the spinal column and allows the body to bend, twist, and rotate the hips. Nerves in the lower back also connect to the pelvis, legs and feet.

Unfortunately, the lower back is susceptible to pain and injury. An estimated 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is the most common cause of job-related disability claims and one of the most common reasons for doctor visits.

Myths about lower back pain

There are many myths about back pain. Many people believe that any type of back pain requires rest; however, extended bed rest can be ineffective at best and may even worsen back pain or cause other health issues. Another myth is that yoga causes additional back pain. While it is true that too much yoga, or any physical activity, can cause back pain, a regular yoga routine is one of the most effective tools in reducing lower back pain.

Benefits of yoga for lower back pain

The practice of yoga can relax, energize and strengthen the body. It also improves flexibility, teaches proper posture, and helps with producing and maintaining a healthy spine. Certain poses can stretch and strengthen back muscles to enhance mobility. Yoga postures emphasize breathing techniques, reduce muscular tension, and improve balance and bone strength. For maximum relief, yoga can be combined with other treatment options, such as medication and physical therapy.

Yoga poses that can help lower back pain

A health care professional should be consulted prior to implementing yoga poses as a routine. Yoga should be avoided with certain back issues, such as a spinal fracture or a herniated disc. As with any other type of physical activity, injuries can occur. Therefore, it is important to follow proper form and complete slow, controlled movements. Specific yoga postures that can ease lower back pain include, but are not limited to, the following: