For some, their goal will be to relax and improve their flexibility. Others may try yoga to relieve low-back pain.
Recent studies of people who suffer from chronic low-back pain have found that a “carefully adapted set of yoga poses can help reduce pain and improve function,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
This is great news for as many as 25 percent of adults nationwide, who experience some type of low-back pain every year. Although yoga will not help everyone with low-back pain, they may enjoy its other benefits such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure and relieving anxiety and depression.
To help people practice yoga safely, the NCCAM recommends the following tips:
- Practice safely. Yoga postures should be modified based on a person’s abilities. Make sure you take a class from an experienced instructor. Be sure to let your instructor know about any medical issues you have. Inquire about the physical demands of yoga.
- Discuss taking yoga with your health care provider. Make sure your total health care is coordinated and safe by keeping your doctor informed about complementary health practices you use, including yoga.
- Practice yoga appropriately. People who have high blood pressure, glaucoma, sciatica and women who are pregnant should modify or avoid certain yoga poses.
- Understand yoga’s limitations. Research suggests that yoga is not helpful for asthma. Studies focused on yoga and arthritis have had mixed results.
Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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