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The back is a well-designed body part that is made up of bones, muscles, nerves, and soft body tissues. It is a very important part of the human body because the bones of the back acts as a supporting frame for the back and the whole body. The back muscles work with abdominal muscles to keep the body upright and mobile. However, because of the stress of everyday life, many individuals tend to overwork or overuse their back muscles, which then leads to back pain. This condition may hamper performance and affect every day. Common symptoms of back pain may include spasms, stiffness, pain, numbness, and sometimes pain in the leg area and depends on the cause of pain and its severity. Back pain is one the most frequent health complaints that are received by doctors in the United States. However, individuals experiencing back pain should not despair because of the availability of many methods and medication that may give back pain relief. One of the most popular alternative back pain treatments is the ancient Indian meditative exercise called yoga.
Not long ago, the primary treatment for chronic back pain was sufficient rest and the use of painkillers. Nowadays, doctors are encouraging their patients to manage pain and illness by engaging in activities like yoga. Many medical researchers suggest that yoga is one of the most effective treatments for body pain. Yoga has gone from a spiritual discipline practiced by many in the Far East into a mainstream exercise routine that is taught in many fitness gyms around the world. Other than back pain relief, many medical researchers also show that yoga helps strengthen one’s bones and muscles, reduce stress, and promote moments of relaxation. Yoga works by building strength, improving flexibility, and reducing joint and muscle pain.
Other proven benefits of yoga include:
Increases muscle strength, endurance, and stamina;
Develops muscles in the abdomen, legs, and arms;
Release of physical tension;
Helps maintain good and proper posture;
Serves as a good warm up for athletes; and
Improves an individual’s overall performance
However, not all forms of yoga can be used for back pain relief. When the back is injured or hurting, slow-paced and gentle stretches and poses should be practiced. Some yoga poses and stretches may aggravate back pain and lead to serious injuries. A type of yoga called Viniyoga is adapted from yoga that gives emphasis on precise deep breathing and slow stretches. Another type of yoga called Iyengar yoga, focuses on accurate bodily alignment. Students of this practice use different props like straps, blocks, blankets, and many more. This type of yoga works best with individuals who have little mobility and need some support.
Individuals who want to engage in physical activities like yoga should consult doctors and other health professionals before taking yoga classes. Certain injuries to the wrist, back, and ankles may prevent some individuals from practicing yoga postures and positions. Furthermore, yoga should be practiced with care and precaution. Some people have reported injuries that were acquired by executing yoga postures without focus, or by attempting difficult positions without working on them gradually or by not having proper supervision. Oftentimes, beginners complain of muscle soreness and fatigue after engaging in yoga. These effects may disappear with continuous practice. Yoga is a great way to strengthen the body and improve overall health.