Yoga For Pain Management: Follow These Five Tips For Effective Results
Yoga improves your physical mobility and helps in chronic pain management. Read here to know from the expert some yoga poses and other tips to manage chronic pain at home.
Yoga improves flexibility and reduces the risk of injuries
- Yoga can help improve flexibility and reduce muscle stress
- You can practice yoga daily to boost your overall health
- Surya namaskar can offer several benefits to your body
Yoga is a holistic mind-body practice that is very helpful in pain management because it improves your physical mobility and relaxes your nervous system. A complete yoga practice, which includes asana, pranayama and meditation can reduce stress and even the intensity of pain. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a yoga practice for pain relief.
Yoga for pain management
1. Include Sukshma Vyayama
Sukshma Vyayama are joint activation exercises, which help improve circulation and keep the joints healthy. They are great preventive exercises for pain as well as help in arthritis. They are done at the start of a yoga routine, before asana practice. These include cat-cow pose, side bends, standing spinal twists, shoulder circles, hip rotation, etc.
2. Strengthen your posture
Most typical causes of pain are poor posture or a sedentary lifestyle. Yoga Asanas are very effective in improving posture, particularly asanas like Cobra, Locust, Bow, Camel, and all the poses in the Warrior class. Instead of just using yoga for passive flexibility, you must also include active postures like these to build. Aim for a balance between both strength and flexibility in yoga.
Note: It is essential to consult a doctor or a therapist before starting yoga asanas to ensure you do not aggravate an existing problem.
3. Try restorative yoga
Restorative yoga has two-fold benefits. One, it helps us destress and redirect your energy towards healing. Two, it reduces sensitivity to pain by re-training your nervous system. Restorative yoga typically uses props like blankets, bolster, blocks, a chair, or a belt to allow the practitioner to hold various shapes with the body without muscular tension. It leaves you feeling immensely calm and refreshed. An easy way to include a restorative pose in your practice is to lie down in Shavasana with your knees bent and calves resting on a chair or child pose with a pillow underneath the chest and forehead for support.
4. Include Breathing Exercises
Pranayama creates a sense of harmony in the body. It also stabilizes your blood pressure, reduces cortisol, and reduces tension in the muscles. This is important because when you are in pain, your breathing often becomes shallow, which puts your nervous system in chronic stress. Therefore, conscious deep breathing can help you relax the nervous system and reduce the sensation of pain. Equal Breathing (Sama Vritti Pranayama) and Deep Belly Breathing (Adham Pranayama) are two practices that beginners can do.
5. Meditate regularly
Meditation is not only great for your emotional stability and stress management; it has been found very useful in pain management as well. Meditation changes how you process life experiences and sensations, so regular meditation practice reduces pain sensitivity. Thus, it changes how the body experience pain and improves the quality of life.
While a typical yoga routine includes Asanas, Pranayama, and Meditation, one should not be disheartened if physical postures are not accessible right now. Pranayama and Meditation are also very powerful practices that you can include in your pain management routine. They help us find relief from physical discomfort and also improve the overall quality of life. Yoga is a versatile practice, and the best part is that you can customize it to suit your unique needs.
(Ms. Namita Piparaiya is a Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist and Founder at Yoganama)
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