As a physical therapist and a yoga teacher, I can tell you that yes, yoga can most definitely help when it comes to chronic pain.
Yoga is often thought of as a practice that revolves around moving your body into different poses or a practice that you need to be flexible for, but yoga is much more than this. A true yoga practice works on your entire being, meaning it works on your body, mind, and soul.
When it comes to chronic pain, often the body is the only part that is looked at, but what about the other two parts of your being? All three parts, mind, body, and soul, are inherently connected so it’s important to take into consideration all three when working on healing.
Research has shown that chronic pain does cause changes in the brain. This makes sense because pain signals originate in the brain itself. It’s not saying that there isn’t a physical cause of the pain you are experiencing, but we can’t ignore the brain piece. What’s so wonderful about yoga is that it works on both of these pieces of chronic pain because it works on the body and the mind. Through a yoga practice you learn to work with the mind body connection which can be incredibly healing when it comes to chronic pain.
No matter where your body is at physically, there's something in yoga for you. In terms of movement based yoga, there are many ways you can modify poses to make them work for you and your body. But yoga is more than just stretching and strengthening, other part of yoga include things like meditation and breath work.
If you've been dealing with chronic pain, give yoga a try. Allow yourself the opportunity to work on your body, mind, and soul. There is something for everyone within this beautiful practice.
“Chronic Pain Harms the Brain.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 6 Feb. 2008, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205171755.htm.