Yoga for Back Pain

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The majority of adults have lower back pain at some point in their lives. This blog looks at why back pain is so prevalent and how yoga for back pain can help provide some relief.

With many of us working in makeshift offices in our own homes, the priority has often been trying to maintain a semblance of productivity during these strange times, rather than worrying whether our working set up is healthy in the long run.

Not everyone has a spare room available for setting up a comfortable home office that ensures a healthy working environment. A lot of people are resorting to ad hoc office set-ups ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Some people have resorted to working cross-legged in the hallway while flatmates work in the other rooms. Others have been working for long periods of time on a couch, at a kitchen table or making do with a poor seating and desk combo.

We’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking but it’s easy to brush it off as a catch phrase designed to scare. However like everything one chooses to do or not do, sitting for hours on end has health implications. Our guest writer Nadia wrote about this recently in Health Effects of Sedentary Behaviour.

Even with the perfect desk and chair set up, being seated for 8+ hours a day is simply not what our bodies were designed to do. Instead of being mostly sedentary our bodies were designed to be much more active and therefore it should come as no surprise when our poor stiff bodies start to send us strong signals to say how uncomfortable we are making them.

The extended work from home and the less than ideal conditions many of us are working under now are only exacerbating the problems associated with sitting for long periods of the day both at work and in our free time. Lower back pain, shoulder pain, repetitive strain on wrists and arms and necks bent down looking at laptops balanced on our laps. The pain and stiffness are the warning signs that our bodies are struggling under these conditions.

Lower back pain is a very common problem with about 80 percent of adults experiencing lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is the number one most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days and visits to healthcare practitioners.

“In any 3-month period, about 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has at least one day of back pain, mostly in the lower back.” 1

According to the NCBI “Low back pain becomes chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks ) in about 20%–30% of those afflicted.” 2

Whilst opioids/pain killers can be prescribed by GP’s to alleviate chronic back pain this is seen by some as relieving the symptoms but not getting to the root cause of the problem.

How Can Yoga Help With Back Pain

For office workers, using yoga for back pain can hep by moving the body into positions that stretch and contract the back and connected muscle groups. It can help the body to loosen those muscles that get stiff after being held still in the same position all day. In addition, yoga can help:

  • restore flexibility and mobility
  • improve your strength and endurance
  • improve your balance and stability
  • help to improve overall posture and body alignment
  • promote muscle relaxation
  • reduce stress and improve mood
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Yoga for Back Pain

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