Your spine is naturally designed for movement. This is why spine surgeons in Los Angeles often recommend regular exercise for people with back pain. Yet some forms of physical activity, while beneficial, place a bit too much stress and strain on the spine. A happy medium for many back pain sufferers is yoga, a gentle form of exercise that’s often safe for your spine and its supporting discs, joints, and muscles.
How Yoga Benefits Your Spine
Most types of yoga involve deep breathing, controlled movements, meditation, and holding certain poses or postures to fully stretch muscles. Many poses work with the natural curvature of your spine or provide gentle resistance. Yoga may also ease your back pain by:
- Increasing flexibility and coordination
- Strengthening muscles that support your spine
- Reducing stress that can aggravate back pain
Choosing Safer Forms of Yoga
If you’re dealing with persistent spine pain or discomfort that’s triggered by certain movements, avoid positions involving bending and twisting. Iyengar yoga, for instance, is a form of yoga often recommended for people with back pain because it focuses on very precise movements in modified poses that promote proper alignment. Regardless of your preferred form of yoga, reduce your risk of injury by:
- Firmly holding poses for at least 30 seconds
- Avoiding bouncing movements while holding a pose
- Going slow and giving yourself time to learn the poses
- Opting for modifications of more strenuous or advanced poses if you’re experiencing pain or concerned about added spine pressure
While yoga is often easy on your spine if you choose a form that’s right for you, it’s important to warm-up before getting into a daily routine. Yoga can also complement cardio and muscle strengthening exercises by improving flexibility. Before starting a regular yoga routine or taking a class check with your doctor.
If you have chronic back pain that hasn’t responded well to conservative measures for pain relief, it might be time to make an appointment with a board-certified spine surgeon Los Angeles patients trust. They can help you better understand the cause of your pain and identify the best treatment options. For more information, call The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757 today and schedule an in-person consultation.