Home » Spine Conditions » Degenerative Disc Disease » Five benefits of yoga poses for degenerative disc disease
If you practice yoga as part of a comprehensive, physician-approved treatment plan for degenerative disc disease, you can potentially achieve several benefits. Most notably, you may be able to find relief from your neck or back pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. This is important because as your comfort level improves, you will likely be able to become more physically active, which in turn can provide further health benefits and symptom relief.
Can I safely practice yoga if I have degenerative disc disease?
Like many people, you might question whether practicing yoga — or engaging in any form of exercise, for that matter — is a good idea if you have degenerative disc disease. While you’ll want to talk with your physician first (just to make sure the activities you have in mind are appropriate for you), you should know that yoga and other low-impact activities can be very beneficial. In particular, yoga can help:
- Stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your spine — allowing them to take on some of the weight that has disproportionately shifted onto your discs
- Stimulate blood circulation — and, in turn, the delivery of healing nutrients to the tissues surrounding your damaged discs
- Promote relaxation — and reduce the emotional stress of dealing with chronic neck or back pain
- Improve your posture and balance — which can help restore the natural alignment and curvature of your spine
- Increase your awareness of your body’s limitations — helping you to identify and avoid body positions and movements that cause you pain
Yoga poses that may be helpful for degenerative disc disease treatment
If you are interested in trying yoga and your physician gives you a go-ahead, your best bet is to work with a yoga instructor, preferably a professional who has experience in working with students who have neck or back pain. Some basic poses that may help you feel better include the cat/cow, legs-up-the-wall, downward-facing dog, extended side angle and locust.
While yoga can be effective, it’s essential to understand that yoga is considered to be a complementary therapy rather than a first-line degenerative disc disease treatment. For this reason, your physician will likely suggest that you practice yoga in conjunction with other conservative treatments, such as medications and physical therapy.
If your pain persists or worsens after several weeks or months of yoga and other forms of nonsurgical treatment, contact USA Spine Care. Our caring team can help you explore your surgical options. For instance, we offer minimally invasive alternatives to traditional open spine surgery to address nerve compression caused by degenerative disc disease. We can tell you more about the benefits of our muscle-sparing techniques and can provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate.
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