Yoga for spinal stenosis is a constructive conservative form of exercise therapy that has been widely reported to help many patients with mild to moderate symptomatic stenosis conditions. Yoga will never provide a cure for stenosis, since it does not act on the internal spinal canal. However, since the activity is healthy and beneficial in many ways, any relief provided is considered to be worthwhile symptom-based treatment. Yoga is more popular than ever before, with many different types of people savoring its many virtues. There are also more varieties of commercial yoga instruction available, in more geographic locations worldwide, making the activity easy for virtually anyone to enjoy.
This dialog examines therapeutic yoga practice, specifically for the targeted purpose of relieving spinal stenosis symptoms. We will provide incentive for patients to try yoga by detailing its many advantages over other treatment options, yet still provide an objective view of this exercise activity by investigating its limitations.
How Does Yoga for Spinal Stenosis Work?
Yoga is a South Asian mental and physical fitness practice that involves static and dynamic positioning of the body, combined with cognitive, emotional and ethical philosophies. Yoga is a true mindbody activity, particularly at high levels of practice.
Yoga is well known for imparting flexibility and strength to the body, while simultaneously creating a wonderful lean physique. Practitioners learn to breathe properly, to control their heart-rate and reduce their blood pressure. All of these benefits are fantastic additions to a general wellness plan.
Yoga can be practiced by men and women of all ages and can be enjoyed at many levels of participation. Yoga can be completely relaxing, moderately invigorating or utterly exhausting, depending on the intent and dynamic of practice.
Since yoga places such emphasis on flexibility, the body is positioned in many ways that actually increase the size of the spinal canal, typically when bent at sharp forward angles. This can reduce pain in many patients who suffer from lumbar canal narrowing. Likewise, cervical stenosis sufferers can also enjoy relief by utilizing poses that increase the canal patency in the neck.
When studied with an expert instructor, and under the guidance of a physical therapist, yoga has proven itself to be a positive addition to a combined care plan for virtually all physically-active stenosis patients.
Yoga for Spinal Stenosis Limitations
While yoga is extremely worthwhile, it is not a perfect treatment for stenosis, by any means. There are many limitations to the positive contributions that yoga can add to the therapy plan, including any of the following factors:
Yoga is not suitable for many patients with advanced stenosis. These patients might not have the physical capacity to benefit from practice at this late stage of stenotic change.
Vigorous yoga might be contraindicated for the elderly, although even the oldest patients might still benefit to some degree from basic postures and principles.
Yoga might be contraindicated for recipients of some forms of spinal surgery and patients with particular health issues.
Yoga does contain many postures that are known to be beneficial for particular types of stenosis. However, it also involves many postures that can exacerbate symptoms, such as when the spine is forcefully straightened. Patients are strictly warned to receive professional guidance and instruction in order to assuage their pain and not worsen it through yoga practice.
Although yoga is a positive lifestyle activity, it still qualifies as purely symptomatic treatment. This means that it will never do anything to cure the stenosis pain or even prevent the condition from worsening.
Yoga for Spinal Stenosis Practice
Yoga deserves special attention within the stenosis exercise sector for one main reason, when compared to other types of fitness activities. The best aspect of yoga is that it fosters an integration of mind and body. This dual-targeted therapy is proven to be beneficial for general health, as well as for dealing with chronic pain.
Yoga philosophy preaches the usefulness of meditation, knowledge of the body and the benefits of living a good life. Yoga values flexibility in form, but also in emotions, helping many patients to overcome the psychological ramifications of their spinal stenosis. Best of all, yoga is an introspective science, helping patients to better understand themselves and their suffering. This consideration is proven to help reduce anxiety, stress and anger, all of which are damaging emotions to anyone with a chronic pain syndrome.
To learn more about using yoga as a spinal stenosis treatment, talk to your physical therapist. Make sure to fully understand the techniques involved and the proper form and application of each and every posture, in order to maximize positive results and minimize the risk of injury or exacerbated symptoms. Once you are proficient, yoga is an activity that can be performed for life, free of cost and free of virtually all risks. Even if you eventually find a cure for your stenosis, yoga practice is still a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.