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The Benefits Of Yoga Therapy

Last summer, for the first time, I felt a continuous pain on the right side of my lower back. At first, I didn’t think much of it. I practise all kinds of asanas from various styles of yoga, so what could really be wrong, right? Wrong!

Last summer, for the first time, I felt a continuous pain on the right side of my lower back. At first, I didn’t think much of it. I practise all kinds of asanas from various styles of yoga, so what could really be wrong, right? Wrong!

After two weeks of discomfort, I decided to see a doctor. First came the X-rays, then the blood tests, but neither revealed much. The pain restricted me in almost everything; I wasn’t able to move without either being in pain or knowing it was round the corner. Above all, I realised just how much back problems can impair your daily activities.

How does back pain affect us?

Lower back pain is very common, affecting at least 80% of adults at some point in time, and recurrence rates can be as high as 85%. In addition to causing general discomfort, chronic lower back pain can reduce mobility, hindering our work and our personal lives, which can have adverse psychological and emotional consequences as well.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ayurvedic doctor and well-known yoga therapist, Dr. Ghanshyam Sharma, who explained how effective Yoga Therapy can be in tackling the problem.

Self-care strategies like yoga are particularly appealing because they are safe and accessible to all, inexpensive and have other benefits.

Yoga and Yoga Therapy for back pain

Multiple studies have shown the power of the ancient practice of yoga to relieve back pain. In a study conducted by the University of Washington, it was found that people who attend regular yoga classes are twice as likely to reduce pain medication than those who manage symptoms on their own.

Yoga postures are designed to enable all kinds of spinal movements – backward and forward bends, side bends, twists, stretching, decompressing, thereby making the spine supple and flexible, and capable of performing all kinds of physical activity.

People with occasional soreness or chronic aches can benefit greatly from certain postures that help lengthen the spine, stretch and strengthen the muscles, and realign the back.

A regular yoga practice, for at least 30 to 45 minutes daily, helps to develop a strong spine and prevent many other ailments. When yogic practices are used, either to compliment or, in some cases, as a substitute for conventional treatment, they can lead to long-term relief and a permanent cure.

Typically a yoga session aimed at back pain relief will have:

Selected specific postures (Asanas)

Breathing practices (Pranayama)

Awareness and meditation practices (Dhyana)

Guided deep relaxation (Savasana)

The most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care, and surgery is rarely needed. Although the pain may take several weeks to disappear completely, one can notice an improvement even within the first 72 hours of self-care.

In rare cases, back pain may signal deeper, more severe problems and people should seek professional help if back ache causes new bowel or bladder problems, is accompanied by abdominal pain and fever, follows a fall, a blow to your back or other injuries.

You should also contact a doctor if the back pain is constant, especially when lying down, or if it spreads down one or both legs and is accompanied by unexplained weight loss or occurs along with swelling or redness on your back.

In my own experience I modified my practice, focusing on spine-related asanas and poses for spinal decompression and just as mysteriously as the pain came, it disappeared.

 


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