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Tips for using yoga to help with back pain

Yoga can be a great way to alleviate the back pain you have suffered from an injury on the job. For many people, it is a gentle way to strengthen their back muscles and become more mobile.

However, there are ways to do it right. Do it wrong and you risk making your back injury worse.

Get the okay from your doctor

The first thing is to get your doctor's approval to start yoga. This is especially important if you are pursuing something such as workers' compensation. Doctors tend not to recommend yoga if your issue is a herniated disc or spinal fracture. If you do yoga without prior approval and get injured, you might end up with less money than you would have originally received.

Start with one-on-one sessions

Keeping proper form is essential for avoiding further injury and maximizing the benefits of yoga. So, unless you have a robust background in yoga, it can be helpful to have your first few sessions one-on-one with a trainer or teacher. This person will ensure you are keeping the proper form and speed.

Communicate with your instructor

Whether you are working with an instructor one-on-one or as part of a class, communicate with the instructor. Let the person know about your workplace injury and the lower back pain you are experiencing. Your instructor should be able to modify any poses that could cause you trouble and take steps to reduce your risk of injury.

Protect your back

While you are doing yoga, use props such as bolsters and blocks for support when needed. Similarly, a yoga belt can help you reach your toes if you cannot touch them with your fingers. If you cannot do a pose, ask how it can be modified for your needs, and if something starts to cause discomfort, stop.

In addition, avoid extending and twisting at the same time. Sit rather than stand for forward bends, and as you return upright, brace your stomach.

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