Using Yoga to Help Relieve Back Pain

8 Apr, 2021

Using Yoga To Help Relieve Back Pain

Yoga can be beneficial to those seeking to manage or alleviate back pain. Scoliosis is a condition where the spine is curved sideways. While most common in adolescents and children, people of all age groups can suffer from this condition. Physical activity like regular yoga practice is one way to deal with the pain and challenges scoliosis brings. Below we discuss some benefits of yoga for scoliosis and some tips to get you started!

How Yoga Can Help With Scoliosis

Thanks to the combination of core stabilization and flexibility necessary for properly performing yoga poses, yoga can be fantastic for those with scoliosis. Some ways yoga benefits the body include:

  • Reducing pain and stiffness- Form and force closure are two key concepts in spine stability, especially for those who have scoliosis. Strengthening the force closure (composed of connective tissue and muscles keeping the spine in proper alignment) can help decrease pain and improve overall function. 
  • Strengthen And Stretch The SIdes Of The Body- Many parts of the body are stretched during yoga, while others contract, when performing different yoga positions, assisting with the mobility of the thoracic spine.
  • Improve Or Maintain Spinal Position- One study of 25 patients with scoliosis reported that regularly performing the Side Plank pose helped improve the primary scoliotic curve of the spine. 

Getting Started With Yoga When You Have Scoliosis

  • Practice daily- Even if you are only able to practice for a short time, daily practice is key. Daily practice educates and imprints an asymmetrical body to function more symmetrically.
  • Find private instruction- If your scoliosis is severe, and you are just starting out in yoga, we recommend first taking private sessions with a knowledgeable instructor before trying public classes. A properly trained instructor can help pinpoint the concave and convex sides of the spinal curve, teach the appropriate therapeutic exercises, and offer guidance on modifications for public classes. 
  • Work within your range of motion and flexibility level- If you’re a beginner, avoid putting stress on your body’s flexibility levels, as it could aggravate your scoliosis pain. With time and practice, anybody can improve their yoga poses.
  • Avoid painful poses or inversions- Avoid yoga positions resulting in pain above a level 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Practicing Yoga For Scoliosis

Lyengar yoga is best for those with scoliosis due to its focus on postural awareness and alignment strengthening, along with flexibility. Lyengar yoga offers a therapeutic effect, as mind-consciousness is vital to be able to maintain the pose long enough to adjust for the practitioner’s scoliosis. Some yoga poses we recommend to those with scoliosis include:

  • Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasna) with a belt around a door to provide traction ini lengthening the spine
  • Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha)
  • Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
  • Side-Reclining Leg Lift (Anantasana)
  • Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Contact Us Today

The Spine and Scoliosis Center is a top spine clinic connecting Florida patients with innovative, personalized care, with locations in Orlando, Clermont, Winter Haven, and Davenport. If you are seeking a spine specialist, call the Spine and Scoliosis Center to learn more and schedule an appointment with our expert medical team today. 


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