NEW YORK – Physical movements in Muslim daily prayer ritual, such as bowing and kneeling, may reduce lower back pain if performed regularly and properly, a new study has claimed.
“One way to think about the movements is that they are similar to those of yoga or physical therapy intervention exercises used to treat low back pain,” Professor Mohammad Khasawneh from Binghamton University in the US told PTI news agency on Tuesday, March 7.
“Prayer can eliminate physical stress and anxiety, while there is also research that indicates prayer rituals can be considered an effective clinical treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction,” said Khasawneh.
Focusing mainly on Muslim prayer, the researchers said that similar movements in Christian and Jewish prayer rituals along with yoga and physical therapy would have a similar effect.
The findings of the study were based on an analysis of the statistics based on the movements of computer-generated digital human models of healthy Indian, Asian, and American men and women, and models with lower back pain.
They found that the bowing is the most stressful on the lower back, but for individuals with low back pain, using proper knee and back angles during the ritual can reduce pain. The angles are based on individual body shapes.
“The maximum compression forces created during prayer postures is much lower than National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) safety limits, and the movements can be safely considered a clinical treatment for low back pain, as it requires different movements of the human body on a regular basis,” Khasawneh said.
“The kneeling posture (sujud) increases the elasticity of joints. It is recommended for these individuals to spend more time in the kneeling posture,” Khasawneh added.
The study was published in the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Muslims pray five times a day, with each prayer made of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah.
The five prayer times are divided all through the day which starts with Fajr prayer at dawn.