Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Back pain. It happens to all of us at one time or another. The National Institute of Health tells us that while back pain can happen to anyone, risk increases with age. Your first experience with back pain may occur sometime around the age of 30 – or as late as 40. Additionally, your risk may increase if you are out of shape, overweight, smoke, or have certain types of arthritis in your family. Certain occupations, including those that require a lot of lifting, pushing or pulling, can also increase risk for back pain.
A Surgery-Free, Drug-Free Approach
Many people in Houston want to address their back pain without drugs or surgery. While there are some situations in which injections, medications and surgery may be necessary, you may find your acute back pain resolve through stretching and exercise. (Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program – especially if you intend to use the program to treat an injured back.)
Could Yoga Help Acute Back Pain?
A helpful infographic provides a few suggestions for how yoga could help patients with acute back pain. Here are a few relatively easy poses to get started with:
- Cat Pose: Get down on your hands and knees, and gently arch the back upward, dropping the neck. You can alternate pushing the shoulders forward to get some extra movement in the spine.
- Cow Pose: From cat pose, simply drop the belly down (inverting cat pose).
- Upward Salute: Stand straight, feet together, and raise the hands, matching the palms above your head with arms fully extended; look upward.
- Staff Pose: This pose can be challenging. Sit on the ground with legs straight, fully extended before you. Straighten the back and place the palms flat on the floor next to your hips with fingers flat on the ground, pointing toward the feet.
Enjoy a Safe Practice: Listen to Your Body.
Of course, it’s possible to injure yourself in any physical activity – even one you’re adopting for rehabilitative purposes. So, before beginning a yoga practice (with your doctor’s permission), be sure to check out this post on the Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics Blog about common yoga injuries (and how to avoid them).
Always listen to your body, and stop what you are doing if you experience pain or discomfort. Also, if you are taking a yoga class, let your instructor know about any health issues you have. Your teacher should be able to recommend alternative poses and flows that accommodate your back pain.
Questions? See a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor.
Have questions about whether or not yoga could help your back pain? Talk to a sports medicine doctor at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546 to set up your appointment. (You can also schedule online.)
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.