(CNN) — When Dr. Carolyn LaFleur was in a car accident six years ago, she couldn’t move her neck for a year and a half, she had terrible pain in her hip, and she would get headaches at her temples.
Frequent icing, physical therapy and massage therapy helped her neck and hip, but didn’t do much for the pain in her head.
Then just last year LaFleur discovered yoga. While it didn’t get rid of her headaches, it did make the pain much more manageable.
“Yoga has given me strength,” says LaFleur, 66, an anesthesiologist who practices in Hudson, New York.
She has her yoga “prescribed” by Dr. Loren Fishman, a rehabilitative medicine specialist at Columbia University’s New York-Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan.
“Yoga lowers your tension. It relaxes the basic tone of your muscle,” he says. “And the minute you notice that yoga helps, it raises your confidence that you can help yourself. It gives you the feeling of ‘I can do it.’ ”