Health and Fitness

Yoga and Low Back Pain

During this pandemic, many people are discovering new and creative ways to exercise and stay in shape. With the gyms closed, we are forced to exercise at home and in our neighborhoods, using the equipment we have and our body weight for resistance.

Like so many adults, I have suffered from intermittent back pain and sciatica. Mine begin with a lifting injury. I lifted an extremely heavy bag of leaves with an awkward posture and immediately felt back pain running down my left leg.

Over the past couple years I have continued to exercise at the gym doing weight lifting and aerobics. Although it greatly improved my strength and aerobic capacity, my flexibility suffered and I continued to have pain.

This past month, I began a 30 minute daily yoga routine. I have tried yoga intermittently over the years and if I am a big proponent of the concept of balance, core strengthening, body weight and flexibility exercises. They are great way to improve strength flexibility and decrease pain. I found a great online program that I’ve been able to do pretty much every day. I always feel better after I’m done.

Dr. Lauren Elson, instructor in Medicine at Harvard medical school has a great quote. It really sums up the benefits of yoga. She says “Remember that the stretching and lengthening yoga movements are often what your low back needs to feel better, so don’t be afraid to give it a try. By mindfully practicing yoga, people can safely improve their mobility and strength while stretching tight and aching back muscles.“

Yoga can provide lifelong benefits with regards to posture, strength, balance, mobility, and posture. I encourage you to add it to your exercise routine. You won’t regret it.

Stay well!

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