Yoga for Back Pain and Stress Relief has been one of the most popular searches during the pandemic, with work from home, deadlines, bills, loads and social isolation adding to the pressure and stress of the already existing pandemic. 

All this added pressure can blow up the stress over time, which causes a slew of health problems that worsen if major lifestyle changes are not made in order to course-correct. Additionally, sitting in one place for a long time can cause back and neck pain due to bad posture and a sedentary lifestyle. There are only so many invasive procedures and pain meds that can help.

Reliance on pain meds is also slowly becoming another problem in recent years, as we often seek shortcuts to our stress instead of taking the plunge to make major lifestyle changes. These shortcuts inevitably lead to the worsening of the problems. This is why the conversation around the benefit of yoga has become more prominent in recent years. Yoga is an age-old Indian physical practice that has many physical and mental benefits to its practitioners.

Why Yoga for Back Pain and Stress Relief is so effective?

Improves Flexibility

Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility in the body, especially in the lower back area. Since yoga is not as intense as other kinds of exercises, it is a mild and moderate approach to alleviating your back pain. It helps strengthen back muscles and reduces muscular tension in the lower back to improve mobility, bone strength, and flexibility. The great thing about yoga is that it is a mind-body exercise that helps you incorporate stress-relief techniques into your session while simultaneously improving your flexibility. This is why most physiotherapists recommend yoga along with physiotherapy for lower back pain

Improves Breathing

Yoga uses simple techniques to make noticeable changes in your lifestyle and stress levels. By simply improving your breathing technique, Yoga helps considerably decrease your stress levels. Rhythmic breathing, expanding your stomach when you breathe in and sucking your stomach in when you breathe out, improving your lung capacity by the Nari Shodhan breathing technique, or improving your general breathing through Pranayama, Yoga is well-known for its mild physiological exercises to make great changes in your life. 

Meditation And Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are the two cornerstones of the philosophy in Yoga. This is why it is so effective when it comes to stress relief. Yoga is not just about being an intensive physical exercise through movements but it also promotes the art of sitting still and concentrating as it helps to clear the mental fog of intruding thoughts that affect us during our busy lives. Yoga is a very good option especially for a tech-heavy culture like ours where we have constant visual stimulation all around us whether it is through social media, or the constantly barraging emails, or the 24 hours news cycle. Meditation in Yoga not only helps us refocus our frame of thought but it calms the noise in our minds. Through corrective breathing, Yoga teaches its practitioner’s mindfulness in every aspect of their life- whether it is eating, working, or even sleeping. 

Positive Research Backing 

Yoga’s many powerful claims have been bolstered by scientific research that raves about its benefits. Not only that it helps in reducing mental health disorders as research found that practicing hatha yoga for 12 sessions significantly reduced levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.  Further research into Yoga’s claims reveals more positive scientific findings supporting its claims. It helps reduce cortisol levels- one of the main aggravators of stress having a positive effect on parasympathetic activity as was found out in a small study in adult men in 2020. Another study in 2020 reiterated the positive effects of practicing the popular practice of Yoga Nidra, as the study found that practicing this for 30 days significantly reduced their stress levels, enhanced their overall mental health, and improved their quality of sleep. 

Also Read: Thoracic Back Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Physiotherapy Treatment

Promotes Better Sleep 

Yoga is a great tool to improve your quality of sleep. More often than not, we discount the importance of a good night’s sleep. However, this can have devastating effects on your health. Sleep is an important time when important cell repair, neural connection, and physical growth happen. Hampering or poor quality of sleep can disturb these important processes leading to worsening of health, poor mental health, the feeling of tiredness, lack of concentration, and increased risk factors for serious diseases. Yoga can help with this problem through controlled breathing and the popular practice of Yoga Nidra that has vastly improved the sleep quality of many of its practitioners. Yoga Nidra not only helps you go to sleep faster but also increases the quality of sleep for these important functions to happen seamlessly. 

Supports Your Back 

Yoga is greatly beneficial to your back health as it involves stretching and relaxing your back muscles. This greatly helps as sitting in one place for too long can increase muscular tension and stiffness. Secondly, it is highly unlikely that office goers maintain an optimal posture throughout their day. It is likely that most of the time they spend long hours in slouched positions causing stress to their spine and causing back pain. Yoga helps with this as the regular practice of these asanas can go a long way in reducing this tension and stretch these muscles that gently reduce tension without the need for intensive practices.  Yoga is a great alternative to the gym if you have a paucity of time as it has asanas which can be easily done in the comfort of your office cubicle! There are some yoga asanas that are incorporated in physiotherapy for lower back pain. 

Reduces Risk Of Injury 

Yoga is a safe practice for all age groups and has a reduced rate of risk with regard to other options. The elderly population, kids, new moms, people with injuries everybody can reap the benefits of yoga. This is because it uses moderate approaches to help you with your issue. This is especially true for people with back problems as they seem to be quite hesitant to try out intense exercises, so yoga is a great alternative to them. Yoga can be used as a stepping stone to strengthen your back and then move on to more difficult postures or physical activities as it helps to heal your back and ready it for other higher-level activities.

Yoga for back pain and stress relief is important and must be incorporated into your lifestyle, as it is a natural way of bending and stretching your body without any equipment and gives you long-lasting benefits.