A study by the Boston Medical Centre looked at how yoga can help treat lower back pain, finding that after just six weeks the participants’ pain levels were reduced. After the full 12-week program people reported a 3.5-time boost in the quality of their sleep.
People who suffer from chronic lower back pain often also suffer with disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia. This can lead to a dangerous cocktail of medication to mask the pain and get some much-needed sleep.
So how do we fix this?
According to Melinda O’Rourke, founder of MORE Body Pilates and a practitioner of yoga herself, introducing yoga into your fitness routine will definitely help in the treatment of back pain.
“There are several yoga poses that can assist with reducing lower back pain by relaxing the surrounding muscles, building strength and flexibility,” she says.
If you suffer from chronic back pain you should speak with a healthcare professional before throwing down a mat and getting into it.
Everyone’s back pain is different so you definitely need to work with a qualified technician to develop a personalised program for your specific needs.
While the reduction in pain will naturally lead to better sleep, there’s also a mindfulness about yoga that will help with your mental health – even if you don’t suffer from any back pain – which is a great flow-on effect.
“With a more relaxed style of yoga (Hatha, Nidra, Restorative or Yin for example) apart from the strength and flexibility through slower, purposeful moves, one enters a more relaxed state of mind due to the breathing patterns. Daily practise will assist in stilling your mind and this sense of calm should carry you through into a better, deeper sleep,” Melinda said.