As any chiropractor will tell you, improper posture or spinal injury can create a host of seemingly unrelated physical issues. For example, misaligned cervical vertebrae might be related to headaches and sore throats while problems in the lumbar region of the spine could also lead to tingling in the feet or persistent knee pain. Basically, the back and neck have a lot of responsibilities; they support lifting and carrying, walking and running, turning and sitting still and any other type of physical activity a person is involved in. The majority of the population suffers from or will suffer from moderate to severe back pain. Many with weak or chronic back pain use yoga to build strength and flexibility plus manage their symptoms.
Yoga is one of the few strength building or fitness activities that can claim respect for the spine and all that it does. In fact, rather than putting stress on it like when weightlifting or putting it at high risk for injury like many dynamic sports do, physical forms of yoga practice tend to stretch out weak and tight back muscles, align the spine and build core strength to improve overall back health. Deep relaxation postures like the Corpse or the Child are particularly effective in relaxing the neck, shoulders and lower back, areas of the body where many adults never experience a full release of tension. Other postures like the Cobra or the Cat stretch the spine and neck, strengthening the muscles associated with these areas. This combination of tension release and strength building can completely eliminate back pain in some people and prevent further aggravation of old injuries in others.
(This article is part of one by Kimaya Singh at the Aura Wellness Center)