Suffering from long-term aches and pains is no joke, since millions of Americans lose work, as well as sleep and peace of mind, over it. However, all is not lost, since yoga offers a number of tools to people looking for methods of chronic pain management.
Billions suffer from chronic pain
One fact about chronic aches that is both encouraging and tragic is that, if you suffer from them, you are by no means alone. A recent survey determined that approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide experience chronic pain. That's about one-quarter of the human population on Earth!
Plenty of conditions qualify as chronic pain or as a direct cause of it. These include cluster headaches, migraines, lower back pain, arthritis, neuropathy, slipped discs, poor posture, spinal damage, sciatica and bursitis, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Of course, getting focused clinical care for such conditions is critical, since eliminating the source may improve one's pain levels. However, complementary and alternative treatments like yoga may also soothe aches away.
Yoga stretching benefits people with chronic pain
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that a number of holistic practices are good for chronic pain. The agency reports that many Americans turn to acupuncture, acupressure and relaxation techniques to quell throbbing joints and lancing pains.
Yoga exercises are particularly effective at reducing pain because there are so many of them, giving a person with aches many options for reducing their pain level.
Individuals who take yoga classes often report significant reductions in back, neck, shoulder and knee pain. In part, this is due to the sheer number of yoga stretches and poses that address these specific areas of the body.
The bottom line…
If you haven't tried yoga for chronic pain, now may be a good time to start. After all, some aches can persist a very long time. The National Institutes of Health states that, without treatment, some chronic pains can last for months, years or even decades.