Online Yoga Could Ease Your Pain
If you are one of the many that suffers with chronic pain, you’ll understand both the physical and emotional toll it takes. But did you know that certain mind and body practices, including yoga have been found to ease pain?
Let’s take a closer look at pain and how yoga has been seen to help.
What Is Pain?
Pain is a general term that describes uncomfortable sensations in the body. This sensation lies firmly in the activation of the nervous system.
Pain may be consistent, or it may stop and start. It can range from being slightly annoying to debilitating.
The point of pain is to let us know that something isn’t quite right in the body. What is super-interesting is that we can suffer a form of referred pain. This is when we feel pain in parts of our body when the problem exists elsewhere.
We can suffer acute pain; we’ve all stubbed our toe in the middle of the night! But unfortunately, chronic conditions like arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome can result in pain that hangs around.
It’s important to get to the bottom of any cause of pain, but after diagnosis of a chronic pain, we may start to look for ways to help.
Yoga and Pain
Yoga is a mind-body exercise practice that combines breath control, meditation, and movements to stretch and strengthen muscles.
Participants choose to perform yoga for a range of reasons, but the evidence for pain relief is looking positive.
A 2020 review of 25 randomized controlled trials examined the effects of yoga for back pain and found that 20 studies reported positive outcomes.
A 2018 report showed that out of 28 randomised trials, yoga participants reported both decreased back pain and improved function.
Interestingly, the 2017 guidelines for the American College of Physicians strongly recommend yoga as part of back-pain treatment.
A 2019 meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials involving 686 participants concluded that yoga may relieve neck pain intensity, improve pain-related function disability, increase cervical range of motion, improve quality of life, and boost mood.
A 2017 review of 3 studies found that yoga had short-term benefits for both the intensity of neck pain and disability related to neck pain.
A 2015 study suggested that yoga is beneficial for those suffering with chronic headaches.
A 2018 meta-analysis of 13 clinical trials involving patients with knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis found that regular yoga training may be useful in reducing knee arthritis symptoms.
A 2019 randomized controlled trial involving participants with rheumatoid arthritis found that after 8 weeks of yoga, there was significant decrease in systemic inflammatory markers that contribute to the severity of symptoms.
Yoga sessions can take many forms, but they generally start with breathing exercises. You will then perform a range of poses. Depending on the session you choose, they may be standing, seated, or laying on the floor. The important thing to note is that whilst yoga has been seen to improve pain, these poses shouldn’t cause you pain, so its vital to modify any postures that may cause discomfort.
Yoga may not be a magic wand and it’s important to remember that pain management is multimodal, but if you would like to add yoga to your daily routine, then check out our programmes below:
If you are under the supervision of a healthcare provider, ensure they are aware of any changes you are making to your routine.