Question: I’ve been dealing with chronic hip and back pain for quite some time. I’ve been told by several people that yoga will provide a solution. Do you agree?
I’ll have to respond with a solid maybe.
Whenever we’re faced with a chronic pain issue, we always have to consider the individual in question. Each of us has specific needs when it comes to postural issues, positional pain problems, or movement-based pain. It’s never a good idea to state that “[insert any exercise-based strategy] is good for [insert any painful condition].”
There’s no question that there are some people that will respond to yoga in a favorable way in regard to their painful condition. I’ve had numerous patients over the years state that yoga has helped their back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, etc.
I’ve also seen patients who responded poorly to yoga or some other movement-based exercise system resulting in increased pain or other symptoms.
Most of these situations are individual specific. Some elements of an exercise system may be exactly what you need. For instance, a downward-facing dog may be just what you need to relieve your back pain, but an upward-facing dog may be an aggravating stimulus that increases your lower back pain. It doesn’t make yoga good or bad. It just means that we all have specific needs that a generalized yoga class may not be able to address effectively.
We are all our own research project which is why a properly executed physical therapy evaluation is an essential part of the rehabilitation process. What’s good for someone else may not be the solution you need to return to your active, pain-free lifestyle. Even our IFAST fitness clients undergo a thorough physical assessment before starting their exercise program to determine their specific needs to achieve their performance or fitness goals.
If you’re going to experiment with yoga or any exercise system to address your chronic pain issues follow these simple guidelines:
- Be gradual in your approach
- Never force or move aggressively into pain
- Move slowly at first
- Stretching should produce only a mild, generalized discomfort that stops when you remove the stretch
- You should never feel worse afterward. You don’t have to get worse to feel better.
If you’re unsure what is the best course of action for you, consider taking advantage of the free IFAST Physical Therapy consultation. We’ll discuss your concerns and determine the best course of action specifically for you.
Call for your free consultation at 317-578-0998
or email us at [email protected]