Yoga for back pain: Safe and easy

Yoga is a gentle exercise that can help you maintain your flexibility and strength. It is also one of the best tools to reduce low back pain, which is the most common cause of disability and pain among seniors.
Dr. Lauren Elson is the medical editor for Harvard Special Health Report An Introduction To Yoga.
Yoga is a series or postures that emphasize breathing and involves various poses. These postures help you stretch and strengthen your muscles. This helps to reduce muscle tension, increase flexibility, strength, balance, and bone strength.
Yoga can help with low back pain. It is especially beneficial to the muscles supporting the spine and back, like the paraspinal muscles, which bend your spine, and the multifidus muscles, which stabilize your vertebrae.
Yoga benefits go beyond the muscles. Yoga’s slow movements and continuous focus on breathing can help to improve back pain emotional aspects by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Take the right steps

If you have low back pain, talk to your doctor to see if it is okay to start a yoga class. Dr. Elson recommends that you avoid yoga if your back is affected by a spinal fracture, herniated disc or other issues.
After you get the green light, it is possible to protect your back by speaking with your yoga instructor about any pain or limitations. You can ask your instructor for modifications or guidance to help you perform a pose correctly. You can also look into yoga studios and community centers offering classes that are specifically tailored for back pain relief.
Don’t forget to do yoga stretches and bends. Dr. Elso says that yoga can be used to strengthen and stretch tight, aching back muscles.