Yoga vs. Physical Therapy — Which Option Is Better for Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing?

//Yoga vs. Physical Therapy — Which Option Is Better for Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing?

Yoga vs. Physical Therapy — Which Option Is Better for Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing?

By |2019-09-16T07:13:53+00:00September 14th, 2019|Blog|

Between nine to five workdays and mounting stress, aches and pains in the back and neck have become common ailments among the population of Canada. In fact, four out of five adults in Canada report experiencing back pain at some point in their lives.

Treating chronic back and neck pain has become a vital issue. And while there are simple remedies such as walking, stretching, and exercising to improve posture and increase flexibility,  yoga and physical therapies have proven to be the most remarkably beneficial remedies for musculoskeletal health.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is an Indian spiritual and physical practice that originated over two thousand years ago. Yoga not only works with the muscles, but also addresses hormonal imbalances by attempting to manipulate positive energies throughout the body.

Yoga therapy includes breathing techniques, meditation, and various physical postures that encourage flexibility and relaxation within the muscles. It’s rapidly being embraced by the western world as one of the most effective ways to:

  • Improve physical posture
  • Treat breathing issues through exercise techniques and meditation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Relieve chronic aches and pains

Yoga postures have also shown remarkable effectiveness in treating various illnesses and diseases such as:

  • Asthma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis

Yoga for Lower Back and Neck Pain

A recent study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain showed moderate evidence for long-term effectiveness and strong evidence for short-term effectiveness when treating lower back pain with yoga.

While we don’t have conclusive proof of 100% effectiveness, it can be recommended as an additional form of therapy to assist in treating chronic lower back pain among adults.

Similarly, a study conducted to investigate the effectiveness of yoga for treating chronic neck pain showed significant improvement and better pain management among a controlled group of people.  

Yoga vs. Physical Therapy

But is yoga is better than physical therapy for patients seeking treatment for chronic neck and lower back pain?

Looking at the evidence, it can be said that while yoga has definite benefits for pain management and reducing chronic pain, it can’t be treated as a competitor to physical therapy. This is especially true for ageing patients, as the effectiveness of yoga declines with age.

However, yoga is strongly recommended in assisting the treatment of complex patients. It helps increase flexibility and encourages muscle strength among these patients that directly benefit their condition and helps them recover faster.

Contact Expert Physical Therapists In Toronto!

If your aches and pains are causing you discomfort and are persisting, it might be time to consult a physical therapist.

Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute offers expert diagnoses and treatment options for people with chronic and acute painful conditions. It is home to some of the leading doctors and physiotherapists in the greater Toronto area. 

As a premier sports medicine and physiotherapy clinic, we provide a range of services such as concussion treatment, shockwave therapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection therapy, prescription orthotics, and physical therapies to enhance the quality of your life.

Contact us now to schedule an appointment!

About: Dr. Douglas Stoddard is a sports medicine physician and is the Medical Director of the Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute (SEMI). After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sports Medicine. He is also a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine and has his focussed practice designation in Sport Medicine from the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Stoddard is a consultant to the Canadian Military and has consulted with well over 30,000 unique patients in his career. Dr. Stoddard is constantly searching for new and promising therapies to help SEMI patients, and is responsible for developing the RegenerVate Medical Injection Therapy Program. He is the proud father of two boys, is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.

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