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The Use of Yoga to Treat Low Back Pain

Women in yoga classHave you been having low back pain for weeks, months, or years? Have you been told that your posture is bad or your core is weak? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, yoga could be a good option!

Yoga techniques aim to promote good posture, increase flexibility, improve muscle strength, and increase core stability. Back pain can come from a number of causes, the majority of which are related to surgery or a weak core. Recent studies have shown that including yoga as part of your exercise routine helps to alleviate back pain by increasing flexibility, core strength, and focusing on strengthening the transverse abdominis (TA). The TA is a muscle who’s main function is to provide core stability. When this muscle is weak, the other muscles in the area such as the rectus abdominis and internal and external obliques, try to over compensate which can cause increased low back pain and even more weakness.

The core principle of yoga is transverse-diaphragmatic breathing in order to engage the transverse abdominis with diaphragmatic breathing (deep breathing from your belly, not your chest) to strengthen the TA and keep the movements slow and purpseful. Since all forms of yoga have this breathing component at their core, studies have shown that any type of yoga is useful in alleviating and treating low back pain.

This means that no matter what your skill level is, beginner through expert, yoga is a good tool to help treat your acute or chronic low back pain!

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