Yoga for Pain and Chronic Illness

The great thing about yoga, apart from you being able to do it at home, is that it comes with a lot of benefits. For one, yoga can help one deal with chronic pain and illnesses. And this article takes a deep dive into how yoga can benefit people suffering from pain and chronic illness.

We will look into what yoga does for pain management, arthritis, neck pain, and joint pains. This is everything you need to know about yoga and pain relief. So, without further to do, let us jump right in.

Is Yoga Good for Pain Management?

Yoga is sort of a holistic exercise that helps you with a couple of things. It is great for stress management, flexibility, and even weight loss. People who do yoga regularly see improvement in muscle strength and muscle endurance.

There is more good news as well. Since yoga is comprised of different poses and moves, it is pretty good for pain management as well. You can perform specific poses to target different types of pain in certain areas. 

For example, poses like the dolphin plank, cobra, and cat pose are great for relieving back pain. Back pain is a major inconvenience for people who need to sit for long periods. If you are doing a regular 9 to 5 job and require sitting on a chair for long periods, yoga can help alleviate some of the stress and help you deal with pain.

If you suffer from hip pain, there are other specific poses you can try. You can perform the cat pose, boat pose, or even Bajaradvaja’s twist pose as a solution.

Yoga does not require a lot of equipment to get started. All you would need is a yoga mat, some props, and a clear space. You can do it in the comfort of your home or enroll in a class as well.  

Is Yoga For Pain Different from Normal Yoga?

If you are doing yoga to treat pain points and to heal joints, you should perform a slower paced yoga. These types of yoga rely on deep breathing and slow stretches to alleviate pain.

Such a type of yoga is Viniyoga. This is a special form of yoga that adapts the methods to the needs of the individual. Think of it as a more personalized form of yoga. It is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies adaptation and differentiation.

 For people with low mobility, Iyengar yoga is another form of slow paced yoga that is great for precise movements. You need to hold the poses for longer periods, and the poses can be modified with the use of props too. This is great for strength, flexibility and awareness. For specific conditions, Iyengar yoga can be used as treatment as well.

Can Yoga Help with Arthritis?

A lot of studies show that yoga can help deal with different types of arthritis. A couple of weeks of yoga with a professional instructor can lead to great results. People with these sorts of conditions can use props to modify the poses too.

This makes it accessible to more people and also becomes easier for beginners. A study conducted to see the relation between yoga and osteoarthritis showed that doing 90-minute yoga sessions only once a week was enough to show positive results. People have reported reduced pain and improved functions as well. Al

Another study showed interesting and promising results. The study aimed to see what Iyengar yoga for 6 weeks would do to help rheumatoid arthritis. The results were immediately positive. They concluded that the pain levels were not affected. However, the patient’s ability to manage and deal with the pain was far improved. The subjects had higher energy levels and saw improvements in the quality of life. Studies showed an improvement in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms too.

Can Yoga Help with Back and Neck Pain?

For dealing with neck pain, you can perform specific yoga poses. These poses have been shown to help with neck pain. Keep in mind, though, it is recommended to perform with the help of an instructor. The instructor will know your limits and guide you with the poses.

Some of the recommended poses include:

Warrior Pose: The warrior pose helps you strengthen your shoulders and supports your neck.

Cat-Cow: If you need to release the tension on your neck, the cat-cow pose can be great, especially for stress relief.

Thread the Needle: This pose is more fun and effective than it sounds. It targets your neck and helps relieve tension.

Extended Triangle Pose: If you want to release the tension on your upper back, neck, and shoulder, the extended triangle pose is one of the most effective ways to do it.

Yoga helps with neck pain too. There are specific poses you can do to target different areas of the body. As we mentioned, make sure to have some supervision if you are a beginner. An instructor will guide you through the steps and ensure that you do not overexert yourself. 

Can Yoga Help with Joint Pain?

A lot of adults suffer from joint pain. The good news is that you can do something about it. As we outlined earlier in the article, yoga is beneficial for arthritis. Similarly, it can also be very helpful for dealing with other forms of joint pain as well.

Having a consistent routine for doing yoga even just three times a week can deliver a lot of benefits. There are mental benefits as well as physical. So, it surely can be a good way to deal with joint pain.

What Else Should I Know About Doing Yoga for Pain Relief?

Many people are under the false impression that yoga is too gentle and will not do much – that it does not work as effectively as exercise does. You cannot compare apples with oranges, though. Studies have shown that yoga improves muscle strength and flexibility as well.

Another thing to note is that certain types of yoga may be more suitable for you depending on your conditions or goals. On the other hand, some poses may be harmful for arthritis patients. So, it is suggested that you avoid those. 


All in all, numerous studies show the benefits of yoga for pain and chronic illness. It’s clear that yoga can improve your physical health along with your mental wellbeing. Just make sure to work with an instructor for the best results.

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