Home » Uncategorized » Lack of flexibility can lead to the development of acute and chronic injuries, repetitive trauma and low back problems….evidence supports yoga can help

Lack of flexibility can lead to the development of acute and chronic injuries, repetitive trauma and low back problems….evidence supports yoga can help

If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. (1) Many young athletes also have low back pain too.(2)

Good news!!! There is evidence that supports short- and long-term benefits of yoga to ease chronic low back pain, trauma and prevent acute and chronic injuries. As we age, stretching becomes more important because our connective tissue becomes less elastic.(3) , it is  important to find a yoga instructor who is has specialized training with back care, trauma and injury prevention.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states most low back pain is acute, or short term, and lasts a few days to a few weeks. It tends to resolve on its own with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. The majority of acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves) fit together and move. (1)

Low back pain in young athletes is a common complaint and should be taken seriously. Low back pain is associated with sports involving repetitive extension, flexion, and rotation, such as gymnastics, dance,  soccer and hockey. Both acute and overuse injuries occur, although overuse injuries are more common. Young athletes who present with low back pain have a high incidence of structural injuries such as spondylolysis and other injuries to the posterior elements of the spine. Young athletes who present with low back pain are more likely to have structural injuries and therefore should be investigated fully. Muscle strain should be a diagnosis of exclusion. Treatment should address flexibility and muscle imbalances. Injuries can be prevented by recognizing and addressing risk factors. Return to sport should be a gradual process once the pain has resolved and the athlete has regained full strength.(2)

What kind of pain do you have?

Subacute low back pain is defined as pain that lasts between 4 and 12 weeks.(1)

Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain persists despite medical and surgical treatment.(1)

The magnitude of the burden from low back pain has grown worse in recent years. In 1990, a study ranking the most burdensome conditions in the U.S. in terms of mortality or poor health as a result of disease put low back pain in sixth place; in 2010, low back pain jumped to third place, with only ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranking higher.(1)

How is back pain treated?

Treatment for low back pain generally depends on whether the pain is acute or chronic. In general, surgery is recommended only if there is evidence of worsening nerve damage and when diagnostic tests indicate structural changes for which corrective surgical procedures have been developed.(1)

Conventionally used treatments and their level of supportive evidence include:

Activity: Bed rest should be limited. Individuals should begin with back care and BoneFit approved stretching exercises and resume normal daily activities as soon as possible, while avoiding movements that aggravate pain. Strong evidence shows that persons who continue their activities without bed rest following onset of low back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. Other studies suggest that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs.(1)

Strengthening exercises, beyond general daily activities, are not advised for acute low back pain, but may be an effective way to speed recovery from chronic or subacute low back pain. Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for persons with skeletal irregularities. Health care providers can provide a list of beneficial exercises that will help improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Evidence supports short- and long-term benefits of yoga to ease chronic low back pain.(1)

The research:

Studies of military recruits show that static stretching did significantly lower the  incident of muscle, tendon and low back pain  (Amako et al, 2003)(3)

When a sport demands high range of motion in a joint, stretching seems to be valuable.(3)

Recommendations for keeping one’s back healthy

Yoga also can help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture.(1) Ask your registered and certified yoga instructor for low-impact, age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to stretch, gently strengthen lower back and abdominal muscles. Plus ask about spine sparing techniques approved by Osteoporosis Canada.


  1. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445254/

3.Fitness and Health – Page 145 – Google Books Result
Brian J. Sharkey, ?Steven E. Gaskill – 2007 – ?Health & Fitness
Lack of flexibility is implicated in the development of acute and chronic injuries, repetitive trauma, and low-back problems. before vigorous effort. … Calf, hamstring, groin, and back muscles can become tight and sore, especially after an …https://books.google.ca/books?id=iyn4xULK4JUC&pg=PA145&lpg=PA145&dq=Lack+of+flexibility+can+lead+to+the+development+of+acute+and+chronic+injuries,+repetitive+trauma+and+low+back+problems.&source=bl&ots=jgLE-1ADDz&sig=Kp7DELkDyVCHjL-7lGaD2iH1HRI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiC14GwvZzSAhUG3YMKHckxASAQ6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q=Lack%20of%20flexibility%20can%20lead%20to%20the%20development%20of%20acute%20and%20chronic%20injuries%2C%20repetitive%20trauma%20and%20low%20back%20problems.&f=false