Woman doing yoga

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The Pain: Muscular
You tried: Yoga

Likely mistake: You tried to match up a pose with your pain.

Get the most out of your treatment: We all know that yoga has great physical benefits, like improving flexibility and stretching tight muscles. But the mind-body benefits of a regular practice, like focusing on your breathing and being present in the moment, are more helpful in the management of chronic pain than figuring out what move stretches your hamstrings, says Bergstrom. Yoga also relieves stress, and a relaxed state makes you less sensitive to pain. Bergstrom suggests trying Hatha and Iyengar practices, which tend to be less intense.

Keep in mind: If holding static poses forces you to put too much weight on your sore muscles, or if the moves feel so uncomfortable that you're gritting your teeth to get through them, Bergstrom suggests tai chi, which involves moving slowly throughout different poses. You'll still improve flexibility, balance and coordination, but you're less likely to get stuck in one pain-aggravating position for too long.


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