Can A Yoga Trapeze Cure Your Back Pain?
Working with a yoga trapeze is an effective way to give your spine traction, a tried-and-true method for easing chronic lower back pain. The hammocks make it easier to hold inverted poses in correct alignment, thus having your whole spine decompressed and relieving nerve stress, pain. Exercise caution if you're someone with high blood pressure or glaucoma!
When you think about a yoga trapeze, what comes to mind? For many, the thought may conjure visions of the big top and impossible acrobatic feats. And while the yoga trapeze is useful for doing fancy tricks, the true power lies within its back-strengthening stretches and positions. So what exactly does a session on the yoga trapeze entail? And how effective is it for healing a bad back?
With an estimated 80 percent of the population experiencing backache in some form during their lifetime, finding all-natural relief is crucial.1 And unlike medication, natural treatment can alleviate the underlying problem without major side effects. So whether you’re experiencing pinched nerves or a herniated disc, this captivating form of yoga might be your answer.
What’s A Yoga Trapeze?
Before diving into the benefits, here’s a quick look at what it actually is. The yoga trapeze most closely resembles a swing and can be used as an aid to perform certain postures or asanas that strengthen your core. You can hang off it like a trapeze artist, giving yourself a full body workout. This means that you can treat your body to one of the most natural types of inversion therapy. Inversion therapy is basically a workout in which your body is upside down or “inverted” at an angle. The goal? To help with things ranging from pain management and improving posture to energizing or just de-stressing your body and mind.
Traction For Your Spine
Working with a yoga trapeze is an effective way to give your spine traction, a tried-and-true method for easing chronic lower back pain. Specifically, traction pulls your spine apart instead of compressing it. The latter typically happens when you are seated. Constant compression is exactly what has made back pain such a common ailment today. Essentially, the yoga trapeze has the opposite impact, opening and lengthening your spine for feel-good vibes.2
One study confirmed its effectiveness in helping people with a bad back or sciatica. Normally, these individuals would have had to undergo surgery. Inversion therapy significantly helped reduce that need for surgery compared to physiotherapy alone – an impressive 77 percent of inversion patients did not require surgery compared to the mere 22 percent who only did physiotherapy.3
Stretching, Flexion, And Core Strengthening
Ever wonder why experts recommend stretching to fix a bad back? This action extends your soft tissues and muscles, improving range of motion and cutting down on stiffness. This is where yoga comes in. It calls for good-for-you stretches as you slowly ease your body into different positions.
Flexion is another suggested movement. It helps widen the distance between your vertebrae, easing nerve stress and pain. During a flexion exercise, the body is bent forward. This is a standard move of many trapeze poses.
Yoga trapeze workouts also strengthen your core, another important aspect of easing back pain, according to doctors. As you build your upper body strength and core, you will ease the burden on your back. It’s a win-win situation.4
Lose Weight And Lower Back Load
Studies have found that aerial yoga can improve metabolism and improve body fat percentage. It can also benefit weight and waist circumference. In one aerial yoga study sponsored by the American Council For Exercise, subjects went through a six-week program. Researchers found that there was an improvement in multiple parameters: cardiometabolic risk factors, weight, systolic blood pressure, body fat percentage, HDL cholesterol levels, and waist circumference.5
Get Active To Help Your Back
Yoga trapeze can make working out more fun. Whether you sign up for a group session or work one-on-one with your instructor, you’ll enjoy the highs from managing seemingly hard positions. Ultimately, exercise plays a central role in back pain recovery. In fact, the UK National Health Services suggest exercise as a routine therapy, strengthening your back for life. After the initial struggle, you’ll find that it gets easier. It will be worth it – promise!6
When it comes to a bad back, the right attitude can make all the difference. Studies have found close associations between depression and back pain. Being down in the dumps often means that you won’t find the motivation to get moving. Without activity, your bad back is likely to get worse.7
With aerial yoga, blood rushes to your head and sends fresh oxygen to your brain. The result? Feeling revived and refreshed, ready to go. Plus, yoga is already considered to be a form of depression therapy. And since it helps mood regulation, there’s not much to lose when back pain leaves you feeling fatigued and listless.8
Do More Than You Normally Can
One big advantage of a trapeze is that you can manage back bends that you might have thought were impossible to manage. This means that you can give yourself a full body stretch, performing deeper back bends in both directions. Unsurprisingly, regular aerial yogis will tell you that getting into the posture may take some getting used to. But once you are in position, it is much easier on the body than traditional unassisted asanas. Your body can actually relax once it has struck the pose, too.
Before You Begin
Here’s a word of caution before you take up aerial yoga (or any form of exercise): check with your physician or medical specialist first. Depending on the severity and nature of your back pain, some aspects of a yoga trapeze may not be compatible with your condition. Some users of inversion therapy have experienced blurred visions or headaches. When you invert your body, both your heart rate and blood pressure drops. So if you’re someone with heart disease, glaucoma, or high blood pressure, this may not be the right exercise regimen for you.9
Before trying it alone, consider testing the waters at a yoga center that offers a trapeze workout class. A trained instructor will help you (literally) learn the ropes, easing you into the workout at a regulated pace. It’s key to preventing injury. And if you end up becoming the trapeze’s biggest fan, you can even invest in a trapeze for the home.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Low Back Pain Fact Sheet, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.|
|2.||↑||Learn to Fly with Aerial Yoga, Yoga Journal.|
|3.||↑||Prasad, KS Manjunath, Barbara A. Gregson, Gerard Hargreaves, Tiernan Byrnes, Philip Winburn, and A. David Mendelow. “Inversion therapy in patients with pure single level lumbar discogenic disease: a pilot randomized trial.” Disability and rehabilitation 34, no. 17 (2012): 1473-1480.|
|4.||↑||Handout on Health: Back Pain, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.|
|5.||↑||ACE-SPONSORED RESEARCH: Can Aerial Yoga Take Your Workouts to Another Level? American Council For Exercise.|
|6, 7.||↑||Back pain – Treatment, NHS.|
|8.||↑||Shapiro, David, Ian A. Cook, Dmitry M. Davydov, Cristina Ottaviani, Andrew F. Leuchter, and Michelle Abrams. “Yoga as a complementary treatment of depression: effects of traits and moods on treatment outcome.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine 4, no. 4 (2007): 493-502.|
|9.||↑||By the way, doctor: Do inversion tables work? Harvard Health Publications.|