How Yoga Can Help with Spinal Cord Injuries

How Yoga Can Help with Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can have a number of profound and long-lasting effects that can greatly affect one’s ability to carry out life as usual. While the effects of spinal cord injuries can encompass mental and emotional hardships, the effects predominantly inhibit one’s physical abilities and functions. Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, supportive braces, rehabilitation, or surgery may be recommended by a medical professional. However, a, perhaps, underrated rehabilitative activity that those who have suffered a spinal cord injury may consider partaking in is yoga! In this article, we will explore some benefits that yoga can bring to those who have suffered a spinal cord injury.

**In deciding whether yoga is the right option for you, it is important that you consult with a medical professional before beginning classes as this may be beyond your physical capacity or may result in further injury.**

Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion

One of the great benefits of yoga is that it can significantly improve your range of motion and overall flexibility through gentle and progressive stretching and movement sequences. Each class you attend, you will likely notice increased joint mobility and decreased muscle stiffness, which will further enhance your ability to move your body. Additionally, the increased flexibility and range of motion you will experience will likely improve your posture as well.

Improved Pain Management

Another benefit of yoga for spinal cord injuries is that it can help make the pain you may be experiencing more manageable. This decrease in pain is a result of decreased inflammation, relaxation, and muscle flexibility – all of which are generally obtained through yoga practices. Additionally, just by challenging yourself to move your body around and get your blood flowing, this can improve the pain you may be experiencing.

Increased Strength

Yoga can also be a great way to improve your strength after suffering a spinal cord injury. This is because yoga incorporates several low-impact bodyweight exercises that require the use of your muscles. This is especially important after suffering a spinal cord injury, as you are likely to be relatively sedentary in your day-to-day life and experience muscle atrophy.

Improved Respiratory Function

As the spinal cord injury lawyers at Jacobs & Jacobs state, spinal cord injuries can also result in respiratory issues that challenge one’s ability to breathe properly. Depending on the severity of your spinal cord injury, the signals that your brain usually sends to your spinal cord may no longer go through, therefore resulting in a loss of control in your respiratory muscles. However, when practicing yoga, your mind and body will be challenged to connect as you practice various breathing exercises.

Improved Mental Health

One last benefit of practicing yoga for your spinal cord injury is that it can help improve your mental health. In yoga, there is a great focus on breathing and meditation – both of which help to calm, center, and relax the mind and body. As an added benefit, yoga can help you recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which you may have developed as a result of the accident that caused your spinal cord injury.