Yoga for Pain

Yoga for Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain can be emotionally and physically debilitating. Chronic pain affects us on many different levels. Your brain senses pain from sensory, emotional and cognitive angles. The brain is wired to expect severe pain, and it swiftly initiates a strong pain response. Neuropathways rely on past experiences that help the brain deal with similar threats. Our cognitive and emotional responses can jumble our actual pain signals.

Yoga and Chronic Pain Management

Yoga teaches you to be aware of your posture and alignment. The mindfulness training gives yogis tools for engaging with pain in a way that reduces damaging emotions. Most chronic pain remedies are ineffective. Conventional treatments do not focus on the pre-established neuropathways. Similar physiological treatments are prescribed for an emotional response and actual pain. To effectively manage chronic pain, the treatment should include a physical and psychological assessment. Yoga therapy targets the central nervous system. Yoga poses reduce sensitivity by changing the brain’s response to chronic pain.

Physiological Changes in the Brain and Chronic Pain

Chronic pain causes several physiological changes. Physiological changes can affect your physical and mental health. Breathing changes can make your breath shaky and shallow. Erratic breathing can cause an irregular heartbeat. Tense muscles can keep you in a constant state of alertness. The pain can affect your thinking patterns. You may be irritable and less optimistic. Yoga can decrease physical pain. The increased oxygen flowing to your brain can rejuvenate your muscles.

Yoga Poses Relieve Pain and Strengthen Muscles

Yoga poses can decrease the intensity of arthritic pain. Practicing yoga poses on a regular basis may give you a positive physiological response to pain. Chronic pain can worsen your ability to cope with stress. Asana poses are designed to strengthen and stretch your body. You are not responsible for your chronic pain. However, you must make pain management your responsibility. When you are finished stretching, you will notice an improvement in your physical and emotional health.

You should always start with gentle yoga poses. Start with simple stretches to improve breathing. The Cat-Cow Pose is great for increasing your range-of-motion. When you can do the gentle stretches without pain, you can add Warrior poses and more advanced poses. Focused relaxation may relieve chronic pain. Savasana is a good restorative pose. Conscious relaxation techniques include body scans and simple breath awareness. The techniques should cultivate kind feelings towards yourself.

Here’s a video showing the Cat-Cow Pose: