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Does Yoga Relieve Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain leads to many discomforts like depression, anxiety, and impaired cognitive function. Many suggested me that practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain and can relieve chronic pain.So my simple question is should i get started with yoga for my chronic pain problem?



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,708
    edited 08/24/2016 - 5:28 AM
    hello williamslisa

    please click on the links for useful information
    welcome to spine-health

    how yoga helps the back


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 696
    Yoga exacerbated my pain. I tried both strength and passive types of yoga. With that said, I was also working out  with weights, separately from the yoga, so I'm sure all had something to do with the exacerbation. I have heard/read of other's having success with yoga, though I'm not certain if the cases I read were on individuals with general soreness/tightness or those with chronic pain. 

    My rule of thumb is to try an exercise or routine but if it causes pain of any kind, stop and move on to the next exercise. Then try it again the next time you do the routine. 
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  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    Yes yoga can, but it depends alot on what you are dealing with and modifying the practice to fit.  But yoga definitely has an effect on the mind, there are many studies supporting this.  It is well known to help with anxeity because of its effect on the nervous system
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • kaitlynannoconnorkaitlynannoconnor Clifton, NJPosts: 5
    edited 09/26/2016 - 1:57 PM
    Agreed, daily yoga at home definitely helps a bit (not a miracle worker) I notice that when I am in a lot of pain simple yoga stretches help a bit.  I was taking hot yoga classes for a while, I noticed it was much easier on my muscles to work through the heat. 

    Depending on the type of yoga you are doing (vinyasa, hatha, etc) I could see how it could exacerbate paint for some. It requires a lot of strength and can often times leave me sore because I am using muscles I don't usually use.  I recommend starting off very slow and looking up yoga for back pain.  Simple exercises do help.
  • My doctor recommended yoga to help with my pain at my appointment last week, but warned me that I will need to find an instructor who really knows what they are doing.  I'm thinking I will need a LOT of modifications in the beginning.  I'm still in the process of trying to find someone local (we're in a rural area) who fits the bill.  

    As a beginner, I'm not sure I would try anything at home until I worked with an instructor to make sure I'm performing the movements correctly. 
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  • I've found yoga to be really effective in managing my pain, and personally find it to be very enjoyable
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 322
    edited 09/30/2016 - 2:16 PM

    Basic yoga stretches and poses can be very beneficial to the mind and body and can help you stretch and build strength. Of course you don't want to start out with some crazy advanced yoga course, but usually the instructors are great and will encourage you to do only what you can. Also, you may want to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program depending on what your health issues are.

    I used to go to a hot yoga class but I would not recommend it for a beginner. It was very strenuous....and hot, lol!

  • flutterbybyjennfflutterbybyjenn California Posts: 10
    I've been using yoga to cope with my chronic pain for 3 years now. I don't suggest modern yoga. It's targeted for weightloss and muscle gain. Movements should be extremely slow so you can feel what your body needs. I personally do a meditative yoga routine. It's not balancing on my head, but I stretch all those muscles that like to spasm on me. I usually feel taller and better after. 
    Just be careful not to hurt yourself, yoga's not a workout it's a connection with your mind and body. 
    Good luck, I know we all need it here.  :)
  • earthdogeearthdog New EnglandPosts: 6
    I have not done yoga but group floor Pilates increased my pain. I really like Pilates on machines , horseback riding and water aerobics. Anything "anti-gravity!!!
  • The government and the FDA and the DEA and the American Medical Association all are selling 'adjunct treatments' like yoga for chronic severe pain in lieu of opioids.  It is fallout from the 2014 federal changes in controlled substances that are intended to prevent you from getting an opioid Rx for pain.  In my opinion it is a disgrace, a lie, and harmful to patients.
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