Many people seek out yoga to help alleviate back pain. As a teacher, I see that it is the most common ailment students report. We have seen how yoga can help with women’s health issues as well as support cardiac health. Poor sitting posture, whether at a desk or in a car, contributes to the widespread back pain which is so prevalent in our society. Let’s see what the research says about how yoga helps to alleviate some of the symptoms of back pain and injury.

Back care

Back pain encompasses many different types and is difficult to pinpoint. However, lower back pain (LBP) is very common. One study has shown yoga to be helpful in reducing the use of medication to treat back pain. This is promising in light of the opioid epidemic currently plaguing US society. Another study shows yoga reducing functional disability when used to treat LBP. Reducing disability will increase quality of life for LBP sufferers. Another study corroborates these findings, although this study specifically used the Iyengar yoga method for treatment. A regular practice of yoga helps to maintain the positive effects as this 12-month follow-up study shows.

Spinal therapy

Yoga shows promise to treat lower back pain but can it be beneficial to other types of pain associated with the spine. One study shows the benefits to chronic neck pain when a regular practice of yoga is applied. In addition, incorporating yoga therapy for recovering from spinal cord injury shows promise. For these kinds of rehabilitative uses props are a key to recovering strength and mobility.

In short, yoga practice shows the ability to provide relief from back pain. Using yoga, your back is strengthened and toned. Therapeutically, yoga brings flexibility and mobility when recovering from injury. A competent and experienced teacher is essential to a safe and effective practice. Find a class at and see what yoga can do for you. As with any yoga class, be sure to let the teacher know beforehand if you have any injuries or special considerations. Namaste!

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