The marriage of physical therapy to yoga is a natural one. A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that yoga was the most effective treatment for chronic lower back pain when compared to conventional exercise. Yoga can accomplish more with one pose than five separate physical therapy exercises. It emphasizes alignment and focus on subtle actions that create lasting change from the inside out.
Among many benefits, yoga can help restore balance, a problem that is very common among physical therapy patients. Restoration of balance can aid in finding freedom from pain. This works in five stages:
1. Re-align: Identify what is tight/weak and correct it.
2. Create space: Open up tight structures and surrounding connective tissue to reduce joint and nerve compression.
3. Re-educate: Identify faulty movement patterns that contribute to the imbalances and learn how to move in a different way.
4. Stabilize: Once the structure is aligned, stabilize the core.
5. Practice: Be consistent for long-term results and transformation.