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Got Back Pain? Try Yoga Instead!

Do you suffer with chronic neck, back and shoulder pain? Then try taking a yoga class instead.

Did you know that the most common reason for sick days in the United States is due to back pain? 

Each year, millions of Americans make a trip to their doctor's office for back pain, and are routinely prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxants and told to "take it easy" for a few days. Typically, the back pain does subside and the patient returns back to work only to experience another episode of back pain again—and again and again. 

As a doctor of chiropractic, we routinely see these types of patients in our office. Through treatment and education, they have discovered the benefits of regular chiropractic care to maintain a healthy back and prevent these flare ups of back pain. In my practice I have always touted the benefits of strengthening the core muscles in order to strengthen the low back and always promoted the benefits of taking a pilates or yoga class to my patients. 

However, yoga is a very broad term, and for anyone who has gone to take a "yoga" class it can be very intimidating and sometimes can be very hard. 

I have had patients say to me that taking a yoga class stressed them out even more and actually caused some back pain. My chiropractic practice is in conjunction with my small fitness/yoga studio so I am fortunate to have the space to practice what I preach and decided to formulate a yoga class that would benefit people who experience chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain who are new to yoga or have very little experience with yoga. 

YogaBack is a four-week workshop for people who suffer with various conditions such as disc herniation, scoliosis, sciatica, post trauma, stenosis and arthritis.  YogaBack is targeted to stretch, strengthen, improve range of motion and posture to alleviate chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

The benefits of yoga are tremendous, and many health care practitioners are now recommending it to their patients that suffer with chronic back pain. A recent study in Scotland had a group of patients attend a yoga class with back pain for 6 weeks, and a second group take medication. The study showed that the yoga patients had a greater reduction of pain and symptoms than the patients that just took the medication. However, one word of caution before starting a yoga program always check with your doctor to make sure that you are able to participate safely, and check the level of the yoga class as some types of yoga can be very demanding on the body and some of the poses can increase neck, shoulder and back pain. 

Always check with the instructor before you take the class and let them know your condition before you participate, so they are knowledgeable and can provide modifications in their class.

Namaste.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Julianne Hirsh January 07, 2012 at 01:32 AM
YogaBack is the best yoga class I've ever taken. It's addictive! The pace of this class will definitely not intimidate you; it is unbelievably soothing. It is helpful to hear the purpose of the yoga poses as opposed to just doing them. I definitely recommend trying this class.

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