Daily Wisdom: Yoga As Therapy
The ancient practice can be a great supplement to physical therapy.
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TODAY'S TOPIC: WHEN TO TREAT BACK PAIN WITH YOGA
"A key reason yoga works for back pain is that its movements increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to the tissues," says Matt Berenc, director of education of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. "This can help speed recovery as long as you are not engaging in activity that offends the original issue. Another key benefit of yoga is the mobilization of the hips and the stabilization of the lumbar spine and low back."
“The lower drop-out rate is likely because of the social, group experience of yoga,” explains Berenc. "Working toward a goal along with others is powerful and creates a sense of community so people are less likely to quit.”
But Berenc cautions against equating yoga to physical therapy: “Physical therapists create a treatment strategy based on the unique needs of the patient,” he says. “One should always work with a trained health professional first to ensure proper diagnosis of what is causing the pain. Without knowing exactly what area of the back is injured, some yoga poses could actually increase the discomfort," he adds.