What Is Back Pain
Lower back pain is extremely common, especially in adults between the ages of 30 and 50, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . Discomfort in the lower back can be chronic or ongoing. It can also be a sudden and brief condition known as acute pain.
Causes of lower back pain include:
Treatment options for lower back pain range widely according to the cause of the condition. Read on to learn more.
Yoga Relaxes You To Help You Sleep Better
Research shows that a consistent bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Try It: Legs-Up-the-Wall PoseSit with your left side against a wall, then gently turn right and lift your legs up to rest against the wall, keeping your back on the floor and your sitting bones close to the wall. You can remain in this position for 5 to 15 minutes.
Yoga Poses For Back Pain
Even the simple poses described below can help you reap the benefits of yoga. However, these poses and the number of times you do them every day are general guidelines for how to maintain a healthy spine. Talk to your doctor before incorporating these yoga poses into your routine.
- Start on all fourson your hands and knees. Your hands and arms should be shoulder-distance apart and your knees should be hip-distance apart.
- Inhale, and then as you exhale, slowly start to draw your navel toward your spine and gently tuck your tailbone.
- As you inhale again, repeat the pose. Be sure to link your breath to your movement.
- Repeat the cat/cow stretch 5 to 10 times once a day.
Yoga Cat Pose. Photo Source: 123RF.com. Standing Forward Fold
- Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Your feet should be hip-distance apart.
- With your arms straight by the sides of your body and your palms on the ground, slowly start to lift your hips off the floor. Hold this for 3 seconds.
- Slowly roll back down to the floor, vertebra by vertebra.
- Repeat the bridge pose 3 times once a day.
Yoga Bridge Pose. Photo Source: 123RF.com.In addition, with back pain, your abdominal muscles may be weak, so while it’s important to choose yoga poses that lengthen and strengthen your spine, you should also do poses that develop strong abdominals, such as opposite hands and knees balance.
Opposite Hands and Knees Balance
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Back Benefits Of A Yoga Practice
Every morning is the same.
You wake up and slowly roll out of bed before grunting and shuffling your way to the bathroom. You can’t remember the last time you woke up without a stiff, painful back.
But you do remember how your adventure with back pain started. Blame it on an old football war injury. Back issues have followed you around since High School.
Up until you were about 18, you were the picture of health. You were on the varsity football team, and you were preparing for one of the biggest games of the year. It was senior day and if you won you were in the playoffs.
As the starting tight-end, your team depended on you a lot. And a couple of minutes into the game you caught a pass over the middle before getting torpedoed in the lower-back.
You remember it like yesterday. At the time, it hurt but didnt seem that bad. Your adrenaline carried you through the game. But when you woke up the next morning you could hardly move.
Flash-forward 20 years and youre still suffering the effects of that hit. The pain and stiffness comes and goes, but it seems like the injury is there for the long-run.
You were talking to an old football teammate who dealt with back pain just like you. He recommended that you try yoga as a way to rehab, heal, and strengthen your back.
At first, you scoffed and laughed it off. How can something so girly and light make a difference? Youre a football player by nature, not a ballerina or some monk.
How Yoga Helps Build a Healthy Back
Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose
This stretch is my go-to when my sciatica starts to scream at me. I drop down, get my twist on, and quickly relax that uncomfortable sensation.
If you suffer from sciatica, check out these 5 Yoga Poses to Soothe Your Sciatica
And lucky for me , this yoga pose also helps relieve knee pain by stretching the outer hips and bringing them back into alignment. How to practice this pose:
- Do this pose at 50-75% your capacity its a restorative twist, so keep it gentle
- Use your hands or the crux of your elbow to hold the knee into the chest
- Stay for ten breaths and repeat on the other side
Optional yoga prop: Yoga Block
We will seal our knee pain yoga practice with Virasana . This is a pose thats a true challenge for this chronic knee pain yogi, but one that I thoroughly enjoy when I have a block nearby. How to practice this pose:
- Start seated with your knees hip-width distance apart
- Place the block on your desired height between the feet
- Relax your hips back and rest atop the block, allowing the knees, quadriceps, and ankles to experience a stretch here
- If its too intense, you can try tucking your toes for added support
- Still too intense? Honor your body and come out of the pose you can always revisit it after youve practiced the rest of this sequence a few times
- Stay for a minute to seal your practice, dropping into relaxed inhalations and exhalations
Read Also: What To Use Instead Of A Yoga Mat
Yoga Helps You Manage Stress
According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
Try It: Corpse Pose Lie down with your limbs gently stretched out, away from the body, with your palms facing up. Try to clear your mind while breathing deeply. You can hold this pose for 5 to 15 minutes.
Yoga Improves Strength Balance And Flexibility
Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength.Try it: Tree PoseBalance on one foot, while holding the other foot to your calf or above the knee at a right angle. Try to focus on one spot in front of you, while you balance for one minute.
Read Also: How To Do Yoga Handstand Poses
Ial Crunch Pelvic Tilt Workout For Pain In The Back
How to do a Partial Crunch: Lie on your back with knees curved as well as feet flat on the flooring. As you exhale, get your abdominal muscles as well as press the small of your back right into the flooring. Raise your head and shoulders somewhat up off the floor as you get to toward your feet with your fingertips. Hold for 5 to 10 secs. Loosen up and go back to the beginning setting. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Gentle Yoga Exercises For The Back
Bridge Pose Setubandhasana
Bridge Pose gives a stretch to the spine and neck and opens the chest. It is a very beneficial pose to relieve anxiety, stress, fatigue and back pain.
How to come into the pose:
- Lie down on your back, bend your legs and place your feet as close to your hips as possible. Place your arms by your side, palms facing down
- On an inhalation push your palms into the floor and lift your pelvis up as high as you can
- Reach with your fingertips to your ankles and bring your chest to your chin
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds
Classical Cobra Pose Bhujangasana
Classical Cobra Pose strengthens the back muscles and stimulates the abdominal organs. Lower back pain is often due to lack of back strength. Depending on the level of back pain, hold this pose for 10-30 seconds.
Coming into Bhujangasana:
- Lie on your belly, forehead on the floor, hands next to your chest, feet together
- Breathe in, push your belly into the floor and lift your chest off the floor as high as possible
- Lift your hands off the floor and look diagonally up
Half Spinal Twist Ardha Matsyendra Asana
Half Spinal Twist gives a gentle twist and stretch to the spine and therefore relieves lower back pain and neck pain.
Half Spinal Twist step by step:
If you want to learn more about different yoga asanas, their benefits, how to practice them and which modifications to use in which situation, follow a Yoga teacher training course with Arhanta Yoga in India or in the Netherlands.
About the Author
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Yoga For Lower Back Pain: A 9
Yoga is remarkably effective at relieving lower back pain. In fact, its the most consistently reported benefit that I hear. And although there are many different types and causes of lower back pain, the most common form stems from our repetitive movement patterns and postural habitsincluding sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, putting in 60-mile bike rides at the weekend or surfing every morning before work. Were likely to experience lower back pain if were too sedentary but equally if we dedicate ourselves to demanding sports that take a toll on our bodies over time.
There are other types of back pain that dont respond as well to yoga so please check with your doctor that you have the all clear to practice these poses if you have any concerns. In yoga, pain is always a sign that you need to back off. Not push through.
Practice These 10 Yoga Poses To Relieve Knee Pain
Knee pain is estimated to affect nearly 20 million people in the United States alone, with over 600,000 knee replacements occurring every year. And that number is only on the rise.
But whats more interesting to me is that . . . Im part of this statistic.
Hello, my name is Allie. I am a certified yoga teacher, active yoga student, advocate for health, and would fit into the category of having a strong, toned body.
Except, I suffer from chronic knee pain, knee discomfort, knee sensitivity, and even knee insecurity.
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Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Do Yoga
Yoga can be safe for everyone, but depending on the medical condition, certain poses may need to be modified or avoided. A couple of examples of patients who may need to avoid certain yoga poses include:
- Patients who have been diagnosed with advanced spinal stenosis should avoid extreme extension of the spine such as back bends in yoga.
- Patients with advanced cervical spine disease should avoid doing headstands and shoulder stands in yoga.
Most of the precautions surrounding the yoga poses can be determined by understanding the specific medical condition, using common sense, and finding a good yoga teacher to assist.
Lose Weight And Lower Back Load
Studies have found that aerial yoga can improve metabolism and improve body fat percentage. It can also benefit weight and waist circumference. In one aerial yoga study sponsored by the American Council For Exercise, subjects went through a six-week program. Researchers found that there was an improvement in multiple parameters: cardiometabolic risk factors, weight, systolic blood pressure, body fat percentage, HDL cholesterol levels, and waist circumference.5
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When Shouldnt You Try Yoga For Back Pain
You shouldn’t try yoga if your symptoms are worsening – theyve gone from being local back pain to radiating into your buttock or leg, or if youve developed pins and needles or numbness in one or both legs.
If general exercise or specific yoga poses are painful then you need to ease back, stop those particular poses and review what you are doing exercise-wise.
For all of these precautions, seeking medical advice is a good option anyway in the first instance, and as to whether yoga might be helpful.
There are, however, some red flag symptoms that you should seek immediate medical attention for:
- If you lose control of your bladder or bowel
- If you develop numbness down below in your saddle area
- If you are getting significant symptoms with a cough, sneeze or strain on the toilet
- If you develop a lack of coordination of your legs when trying to move around
Reasons Why Your Spine Loves Yoga
As kids, we were indestructible. We fell over all the time, but we bounced right back up every time. Watching your kids today, you may long for your more limber years. People around the world, of all ages, are using yoga to regain their youthful mobility. And whats at the center of mobility? Your spine!
Also Check: How Many Calories Does An Hour Of Yoga Burn
Traction For Your Spine
Working with a yoga trapeze is an effective way to give your spine traction, a tried-and-true method for easing chronic lower back pain. Specifically, traction pulls your spine apart instead of compressing it. The latter typically happens when you are seated. Constant compression is exactly what has made back pain such a common ailment today. Essentially, the yoga trapeze has the opposite impact, opening and lengthening your spine for feel-good vibes.2
One study confirmed its effectiveness in helping people with a bad back or sciatica. Normally, these individuals would have had to undergo surgery. Inversion therapy significantly helped reduce that need for surgery compared to physiotherapy alone an impressive 77 percent of inversion patients did not require surgery compared to the mere 22 percent who only did physiotherapy.3
Should I Do Yoga If My Back Hurts
So your back hurts. Maybe you cant even remember the last time it didnt hurt. Youre popping Ibuprofen like theyre Skittles, and youre wondering if you might get a little relief from yoga. Is it safe to practice yoga when your back hurts this much?
Well, maybe. The answer depends on a lot of factors, like the source of back pain, the yoga positions you try, and whether youre taking any other steps to try to resolve the pain.
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Yoga For Back Pain: How To Relieve Back Pain With Yoga
If you are dealing with chronic back pain and have tried everything , its time to give it a try. It may be just what you need to relieve your back pain. Yoga for back pain is often recommended by doctors and physiotherapists as some yoga poses can strengthen and relax your back.
There are certain yoga poses that can help you recognize the parts of your body where you are holding tension. You can also identify imbalances in your body and fix them through alignment with the help of yoga.
In this article, we will share some of the most effective yoga poses for back pain and how you can master them. So without further ado, lets dive right in!
These Poses Could Make You Put Down The Pain Relievers
Achy back? Give yoga a go. Numerous studies have shown the power of the ancient practice, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back soreness and improve function.
According to research published in July 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, yoga may even help reduce the need for pain medication. At the start of the three-month study, in which one group was assigned to physical therapy for their back pain, a second to yoga, and a third to reading about pain management strategies, 70 percent of the subjects were taking medication. By the end, however, while the number of people taking medication in the reading group stayed the same, only 50 percent of the yoga and physical therapy subjects were still taking it.
Researchers are also starting to discover how yogas effects on the brain may contribute to decreased pain. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and published in May 2015 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, scientists found that there were significant differences between the brains of those with chronic pain and the brains of regular yoga practitioners. Those with chronic pain had less of the kind of brain tissue in the regions that help us tolerate pain, but those who did yoga had more which suggests that yoga may be not just physically but neurologically protective.
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What’s A Pinched Nerve Anyway
Pinched nerves — known clinically as radiculopathies — occur when nerve roots that branch off from the spinal cord are impinged upon by a bone spur, tight muscles or a piece of one of the soft discs that cushion the spine both at the neck and the lower back. When this happens, the nerve becomes irritated and inflamed. Pinched nerves are most likely to occur in the lower back but can also affect the neck or other areas of the spinal cord.
My Experience With Knee Pain And Yoga
You can typically find me on a yoga mat surrounded by props , taking all the knee modifications, and sometimes altogether avoiding postures that I deem too much on the knees.
And while playing it safe is exceptionally great to avoid injury, I think we can do ourselves a disservice by staying within the safe container. Through years of knee insecurity, Ive learned to dismiss whats not good for me, bypassing the opportunity to ask why, learn more, and understand the body mechanics of my knees.
I gave up on my knees, two incredibly complex structures that support my everyday habits, totally dismissed, categorized and contained to I have bad knees, cant, wont, dont you dare make me do that.
Thats why I designed this yoga sequence as a way to educate on how to safely soothe knee pain and strengthen our knees with yoga.
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