Can yoga help my back pain?

Yoga is a spiritual exercise practice that combines breathing techniques, meditation, and exercise. Yoga has been shown to help with a variety of pain conditions, such as chronic low back pain, neck pain, headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even chronic back pain1. This type of exercise favorably alters your stress hormones and leads to further reduction in your chronic pain. I highly recommend incorporating yoga into your routine two to three times per week.

Can yoga help my back pain?

Studies reveal that yoga is an excellent form of exercise for many patients suffering from chronic back pain. Through the various poses and deep breathing, it also has substantial mind-body benefits. Yoga incorporates physical movement, breathing and relaxation techniques, allowing it to provide both musculoskeletal and psychological benefits2.

A 2018 study found that the effects of yoga are similar to those of exercise3. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that yoga alleviates pain in the short term, for up to 6 months, and in the long term, up to a year. A 2020 study revealed that movement-based mind-body interventions, like yoga, are effective in treating lower back pain, reducing psychological distress, and improving overall functional abilities while reducing pain4.

Tips to protect yourself while practicing yoga:

  • Utilize props like blocks or yoga belts for additional support
  • Avoid twisting while extending, and vice versa
  • Always ask for guidance while modifying a pose
  • Stop any movement or pose that causes discomfort or new/additional pain

Free online yoga resources:

Yoga is considered to be a safe form of physical activity, however it is important to not push yourself to do anything uncomfortable. If you experience any additional pain or discomfort, stop immediately. If performed incorrectly, yoga can lead to sprains or strains. If you are new to exercising, you should start under the guidance of a physical therapist. You can even look for a physical therapist that is a certified yoga instructor as well if this interests you.

Interested in personalized medical care for your chronic pain?

Call Dr. DeCaria today at 847-834-4018 and visit us in our Glenview, IL or Evanston, IL locations to experience a unique approach to managing chronic pain at Revitalize Medical Center.


  2. Ward L, Stebbings S, Cherkin D, Baxter GD. Yoga for functional ability, pain and psychosocial outcomes in musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskelet Care. 2013;11(4):203–217
  3. Park, Juyoung et al. “A Narrative Review of Movement-Based Mind-Body Interventions: Effects of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong for Back Pain Patients.” Holistic nursing practice vol. 34,1 (2020): 3-23. doi:10.1097/HNP.0000000000000360
  4. Cherkin, Daniel C, and Patricia M Herman. “Cognitive and Mind-Body Therapies for Chronic Low Back Pain and Neck Pain: Effectiveness and Value.” JAMA internal medicine vol. 178,4 (2018): 556-557. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0113

Disclaimer :  This website (including all pages and blog posts) is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. To schedule an appointment at Revitalize Medical Center, please call (847) 834-4018.

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