Chronic pain is becoming more common than ever before due to sedentary lifestyle and rise in diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and cancer. While everyone experiences pain and aches at some point or the other, chronic pain lasts for three months or more and affects quality of life severely. A person who suffers from persistent pain over a period of time may not be able to enjoy thing the way they did before. It may also affect mental health and makes one prone to depression and anxiety. One is more likely to experience chronic pain in lower back, neck and shoulder, hips, pelvis, knees, feet, head, joints, abdomen among others. (Also read: Yoga for people with bleeding disorders and chronic pain: Expert offers tips)
Yoga can help people get relief from chronic pain in a number of ways. From promoting relaxation, making muscles more flexible, improving sleep quality to increasing the threshold of pain several Yoga asanas can help deal with chronic pain. This is the reason many people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine are taking to Yoga for symptom relief.
“People of all ages frequently complain of knee, back, and other sorts of physical pain. As a result, it is preferable to begin taking care of your joints at a young age to maintain their strength and health. A weak knee and a stiff back are just two of the many aches and symptoms that come with becoming older. To improve your mood, you can find strategies to strengthen your knees, back, and other joints. With some asanas, or postures, yoga can offer relief from physical discomfort. This will assist in strengthening your entire body, facilitating joint mobility, and ensuring pain-free daily activities,” says Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Institutions in an interview with HT Digital.
“Yoga has numerous advantages for persons who experience discomfort. These yoga poses are supported in their right alignment by the science behind them, which will strengthen and stabilise the body. Three to four times per week, incorporate these into your routine. Each pose should be held for at least five breaths, and you should slow down if you experience any pain or pulling,” he adds.
The Yoga expert also suggests asanas and tips to deal with chronic pain.
Put your feet together and entwine your fingers as you stand. Stretching your arms upward, stand on your tiptoes. To gradually warm up your knees, gently lift and lower your heels 10–15 times.
Even a beginner can practise these asanas because they are simple to do and require little effort. Beginners should start by holding the pose for shorter periods of time and progressively extend it. For advice on the best workouts for you, speak with your doctor or physical therapist.
For up to 5 sets, repeat each asana while holding it for 10 counts.
1. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Put your palms under your shoulders while lying on your stomach. Keep your toes on the ground and your feet apart. Take a deep breath in before raising your torso, shoulders, and head at a 30-degree angle. Keep your head slightly elevated upward, your shoulders broad, and your navel low. Exhale slowly and lower your torso.
2. Sarpasana (Snake Pose)
Lie prone positioned with palms interlocked behind you. Inhale and lift torso as much as you can. Keep your feet on the ground. Exhale breath to release from the pose.
3. Twisted Cobra Pose (Triyaka Bhujangasana)
Put your palms under your shoulders while lying on your stomach. Put your outside toes on the ground and keep your legs 2 feet apart. Lifting your torso and turning to glance over your right shoulder at your left heel while inhaling and holding your breath. Take a breath out, pivot to the front, and lower your torso. As you elevate your torso and turn to look over your left shoulder, take a deep breath and hold it.
4. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Spread your knees apart to a comfortable distance while you knead on the mat while sitting on your heels. Arms raised above the head after inhaling. Place your palms on the ground as you exhale and bend your upper body forward. The heels should support the pelvis. Make sure your back is not rounded. You are welcome to support yourself by putting a blanket under your buttocks or knees.
5. Naukasana: This can be repeated for 3 Sets with 30 seconds hold each time. Starting on your back, raise your upper and lower body to a sitting position. Keep your back straight, your knees bent, and your arms parallel to the floor. Align your toes with your eyes. Straighten your back and contract your abdominal muscles.
“Yoga releases any stiffness by stretching the muscles that support the joints and surround them. While performing these poses, be mindful of your breathing. You can practise more intently and avoid overstretching or overdoing any of the poses when you coordinate your breath with movement,” says Akshar.
“It is advised that you refrain from engaging in any strenuous physical activity because doing so would only make your joint discomfort worse. Yoga offers mild stretching while preventing harm to the joints and promoting joint health and flexibility thanks to its calm, controlled motions,” he concludes.