Do you cope with chronic pain? You are not alone. There are 50 to 75 million Americans who are also currently living with chronic pain. You may be asking yourself, “how can I alleviate this pain?” There are various treatments and methods to help manage chronic pain. Yoga is one of them. Keep on reading to learn more about utilizing yoga for chronic pain relief.

Understanding Chronic Pain

Chronic pain differentiates from acute pain in three fundamental ways. First, the body can become hypersensitive to threats by sending threat signals to the brain even when the threat is minor. Second, the brain can interpret situations as threatening and sensations as painful, producing pain responses out of proportion. Lastly, with repeated pain experiences, the boundaries between the many aspects of the pain response—pain sensations, emotions, suffering, and stress—get blurred. In most chronic pain cases, the mind and body have learned all too well how to detect the slightest hint of a threat. 

Utilizing Yoga for Chronic Pain Relief

Yoga can help those who have arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions. Yoga has been known to decrease pain perception, reduce inflammation, and improve flexibility and range of motion. Studies show that yoga is comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain. Practicing yoga will alleviate chronic pain and help improve your overall mood and psychosocial well-being.

Yoga sessions usually last from 45 to 90 minutes. However, you can also benefit from practicing yoga at home for 10 to 20 minutes throughout the week. Where can I view or partake in yoga sessions? There are various video recordings with yoga instruction on YouTube. 

Typical Yoga Sessions

A yoga session starts with breathing exercises to help relax the body and free the mind of any worries. Breathing deeply through the nose is an integral part of yoga. The session will then proceed through a series of seated, standing, and prone yoga positions. Holding the body correctly in the various poses and breathing into them to stretch farther is essential. Although, you don’t want to push your body farther than it wishes to go. Stop if you feel any pain. The yoga session will then close with more breathing exercises and meditation.

When beginning yoga for the first time, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t try to push yourself too much 
  • If you feel pain or any other sensations related to pain, slowly come out of the yoga position
  • Yoga will not be helpful to your body if you’re injured, so it’s better to take it slow

Yoga has so many benefits for those with chronic pain. Studies have shown that it helps reduce pain perception, decrease inflammation, and improve mobility among people with a range of chronic pain conditions. As with any exercise, it’s essential to speak with your doctor before beginning a yoga program to ensure that it complements your pain management plan.