Can Yoga, Tai Chi, or Chi Gong Help Back Pain?

Why are people turning to yoga and tai chi for back pain? Evelyn Mora, physical therapist in Pembroke Pines, FL is here to share why!

While the recommendations for back pain used to involve as much rest as possible, this is no longer the case. Today, movement is very much encouraged for those experiencing back pain. In fact, rest could actually make your pain worse.

So, why the change in recommendations? And can activities like yoga, tai chi, or chi gong help? In this article, we’re going to dive into exactly how movement helps back pain and the benefits behind these ancient movement practices.

Why Movement Is Important for Back Pain

According to Dr Evelyn Mora, at Healers of Motion Physical Therapy in Pembroke Pines, “not moving frequently enough or inactivity leads to weakened muscles.” More specifically, your core muscles lose strength, which significantly impacts your low back. When the core is weak, the body ends up compensating by placing stress or strain on other structures (such as those in the low back) that aren’t equipped to handle it.

Many studies have cited the importance of exercise when it comes to preventing and combating back pain. While exercise isn’t always a cure, it can help improve a person’s pain levels and reduce the frequency of flare-ups, contributing to a better quality of life.

So, why was bed rest recommended? The truth is that we just didn’t know any better. When a person rests, the pain isn’t as bad. There isn’t any movement to aggravate it. Yet, upon further examination, it was determined that individuals recovered quicker from back pain when bedrest was taken out of the equation.

Some exercises that have proven effective against back pain include:


      • Walking

      • Yoga

      • Pilates

      • Tai Chi

      • Core-Focused Exercise Programs

    Along with incorporating movement into a routine, experts also state that knowing why exercise reduces low back pain can help individuals adhere to a routine.

    The Benefits of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong

    Recent research, published in 2020, has also indicated the effectiveness of certain exercise routines. In particular, these researchers determined yoga, tai chi, and chi gong help reduce pain, improve functional ability, and decrease psychological stress.

    These types of exercise may be particularly beneficial due to their focus on core strength and proper posture, breathing techniques, and lower intensity.

    In fact, chronic stress is very much associated with chronic pain. Thus, through breathing techniques involved in these exercises, an individual can actively reduce their stress levels, contributing to reduced pain levels.

    Additionally, core strength and posture work can help re-balance the body, taking the stress and strain off of the lower back. In turn, these can also function as preventative exercises for back pain. Thus, if you’re looking for a workout that won’t aggravate your pain and can help prevent future pain, yoga, tai chi, and chi gong might be worthwhile options.

    Got Back Pain That Just Won’t Quit? Consult a Physical Therapist Today!

    Within the last three months, about 37% of American adults report experiencing back pain. In fact, most people will experience back pain at some point in their life.

    At Healers of Motion Physical Therapy, we understand the frustration and disruption that back pain can cause in a person’s life. Allow Dr Evelyn Mora and the Healers of Motion team to help you get back to your normal. Our caring and compassionate team is here to help with any joint pain that you may have.

    Whether you’ve recently experienced back pain or you have back pain that comes and goes, Dr Evelyn Mora can help you finally say goodbye to pain for good. Call us at 954-861-0252 to book your appointment today. Begin your journey toward a better life, free from pain.

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