Yoga poses for chronic pain

If you experience chronic pain, you’ll know how debilitating it can be. It can consume much of your waking (and sleeping) hours, distracting you from work and hobbies, as well as reducing your quality of life.

People around the globe have used yoga to relieve symptoms of chronic pain for centuries. There are plenty of studies suggesting that yoga is effective for relieving pain associated with chronic conditions – including fibromyalgia and arthritis.

If you don’t like invasive or medication-based treatments, then yoga could be for you. It can be done from home under the guidance of an app or YouTube tutorial with just a map or carpet.

Yoga practice can take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours – it entirely depends on your schedule and your abilities. Just a little stretching each day can reduce pain and inflammation, giving immediate relief.

Here are some of our favourite poses for relieving chronic pain.

Diaphragmatic breathing

This can be used in tandem with mindfulness exercises, meditation, a body scan, or simply a calming and grounding moment for you. Breath and the nervous system have always been entwined and both can be impacted by the other.

By breathing deeply with your diaphragm, you are calming down your nervous system and your mind, making it easier to deal with chronic pain. Simply, seat yourself in a comfortable position and place both hands below the rib cage, on the belly. Breathe evenly and deeply, matching the inhales with the exhales.

Close your eyes and breathe for 3 to 5 minutes. Focus on the sensation of the breath coming into the body and, as it leaves the body, visualise your pain leaving with it.

Supine twist

A supine twist is a nice and gentle pose that can do wonders for the back and neck. Lay down on your back on a comfortable surface. Bring your knees up to your chest then extend your right leg out and down, guiding the left knee across your chest to the opposite side. Lay out your left arm in the opposite direction and gaze towards your left hand. Repeat on your other side.

Warrior II (with a chair)

If you suffer from knee pain or a weak lower body, this is a fantastic move to build strength in a supported way without putting undue strain on your joints.

Sit facing right on a chair with your legs bent and feet planted firmly on the floor. Bring your left leg behind you and point the toes forward, the same direction the chair is facing, pressing the side of the foot into the ground. Extend your arms and focus on your alignment.

Bridge pose

This one can be difficult for those with limited flexibility but is a great way to activate the core and back, stretching out your chest and quads. Lay on your back with your knees bent in the air and gently press down with your hands until your chest and lower back are off the floor.

Bridge pose is perfect for relieving menstrual pain and back pain.

If you’re worried about your chronic pain or would like more advice on chronic pain treatment, get in touch with our expert chiropractor team today.

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