Jo Charge has made some excellent comments regarding yoga for chronic pain. Thanks Jo!
I agree, yoga or any exercise for that matter needs to be suitable for your current movement capacity. My experience as a physiotherapist tells me that people with chronic pain may well have a n underlying movement restriction, which when moved too dynamically, and too often in one particular direction can slowly aggravate the pain.
Prior to commencing any exercise program, I suggest assessment with a credentialled McKenzie physiotherapist to understand any movement restrictions that impact on the chronic pain.
A little bit of discomfort during exercise is acceptable, as long as after the session (the rest of the day/ night and the following day) your pain is not significantly increased. Slowly building up your exercise and movement capacity is important. Working with a yoga teacher that understands your situation is very important.
Aspects of yoga which are likely very useful for chronic pain are breath and body awareness. At a recent pain related conference, the concept of ‘physiological quietening’, was reiterated as important for management of chronic pain. Yoga can help address this.
Useful books regarding chronic pain include Explain Pain and Painful Yarns by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley.
All the best,
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