Yoga, Pilates and Meditation for lower back pain you say?

Yoga for lower back pain
Yoga pose for lower back pain

Do you suffer from lower back pain? You might just find the solution to your problem here at Myall. Yoga, Pilates and mediiation are great ways to both prevent and eliminate lower back pain.

You don’t need to just take our word for it, there is a vast amount of evidence and data to support these holistic claims.

In one study they “concluded that Yoga intervention appears to be an efficacious intervention in alleviating chronic lower back pain (cLBP). Yoga was demonstrated to significantly improve quality of life and reduce disability, stress, depression, and medication usage associated with cLBP in 8 of the 10 analysed trials when compared with usual care, self-care book, or exercises.”

Pain Relief using Yoga, Pilates and Meditation

The behaviour of pain is an interesting one too, and from my own training in this field, it was taught that the memory of pain and the “nursing” or “pain avoidance patterns” we develop can long outlast the physical pain itself. With this in mind yoga, Pilates and meditation can help in re-wiring these neural pathways as well as develop a deeper sense of self. Creating a more curious relationship with our body so that we can register true pain signals and work alongside our body intelligence to adapt our posture to develop body-wide stability. This in turn helps provide the body with the opportunity to develop strength, spaciousness, and adaptability.

The Pain Cycle

This article and infographic below demonstrates this pain cycle in relation to the nervous system which can be constantly “on fire”, and in anticipation of stress in this busy fast-paced and sometimes disconnected world we live in. Our body is therefore constantly ready to trigger our fight, flight, or freeze, response, and this is where holistic practices such as yoga, Pilates and meditation can guide us towards our natural state of peace. Bringing with it patience, a more measured response to external stressors, and at the same time helps us to develop more fine tuned awareness in our body, and what its responses are telling us. In this way, yoga, pilates and meditation can play a significant role in the relief go lower back pain.

In the same study it states “Modern pain research shows that psychological and emotional elements can play a major role. These non-physical components can help the brain “learn” to be in pain, re-wiring the body’s neural circuitry to perpetuate the sensation of pain. With proper therapeutic attention the brain can “unlearn” pain, paving the way to physical pain relief. Research shows that methods like education, writing, meditation, visualisation, and cognitive behavioural therapy can successfully help the brain to stop this recurring pain cycle.” Yoga, pilates and mediation have been shown to play a significant role in this process.

Which postures can help?

Through yogic and Pilates postures such as cat/cow and pelvic curl you are mobilising and articulating spinal segments, and flowing between front body and back body engagement through spinal elongation.

Through postures such as downward dog and inverted V you invite length to the hamstrings which if tight, held or stiff can contribute to pain or discomfort or misalignment in the pelvis and lower back. Shoulder bridge and pigeon pose encourage a lengthening to the hip flexors at the front of the pelvis.

A forward fold allows for de-loading of the spine, child’s pose, or Malasana (squat) can create a whole lot of space in the lower back and healthy compression in the hip flexors at the front of the pelvis.

Both yoga and Pilates practices provide balanced and body-wide sequencing to nourish, hydrate and re-awaken held or stuck body tissue.

Here at Myall we are huge advocates of these practices along with meditation and yin yoga as holistic and natural therapies to support an overactive nervous system and the treatment of lower back pain.

We recommend yoga, pilates and meditation for lower back pain, working alongside a trained physician  to complement treatments specific to your unique body condition.