Jamies Journey To Overcome Lower Back Pain Through Yoga
Heres a story of how yoga postures can be easily added into daily life to relieve pain and discomfort. When I started working with Jamie as her Hinge Health Coach in our Low Back Program, she was discouraged by her lack of flexibility and worried about falling because her balance wasnt good. Working long hours on a computer as a consultant, Jamie was often frustrated by the pain in her lower back from sitting at a desk all day with little time to get up and move..
At the age of 45, Jamie wished she could move around more freely and confidently in her own body. She wanted to attend fitness classes with her friends but was too embarrassed. I cant exercise around anyone or even chase my kids around the backyardIts too painful and its embarrassing, she shared. Thankfully, with some encouragement, Jamie recognized that she could take this seemingly hopeless situation into her own hands and do something different to relieve her chronic back pain.
Jamies story is just one example of how therapeutic exercise can have significant benefits in terms of decreasing pain, increasing mobility, and improving function. The good news is that Jamies story can be your story, too.
Through sensor-guided exercise therapy and remote 1-on-1 coaching, Hinge Health offers a holistic approach to reducing chronic back and joint pain. To learn more how the three pillars of exercise therapy, education, and behavioral health drive long-term outcomes, request a demo below.
What If You Have Other Spinal Problems In Addition To Arthritis
If the only back condition you are dealing with is spinal arthritis, yoga may prove an excellent pain management choice, as well as a fun and fulfilling challenge.
But if you have multiple back issues, doing the poses discussed above is not a safe bet, Turczan warns. In particular, spondylosis or spondylolisthesis involve spinal fracture, an injury that does not respond well to side bending or twisting.
If you do have spondylosis and/or spondylolisthesis in addition to spinal arthritis, Turczan suggests focusing on activities that decompress the spine. Examples include beginner core stabilization exercises and working out in water. Ask your healthcare provider or physical therapist for guidance before trying a pose or sequence if you are at all unsure.
Poses For Pinched Nerves
Keep in mind that being over-ambitious in yoga can do more harm than good. Many of the exercises prescribed by physical therapists are derived from yoga, and it’s worth consulting with your doctor and/or your physical therapist what you should and shouldn’t do. They will have knowledge of anatomy that a yoga instructor may not possess. As always, proper form is essential.
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Is Yoga Good For Back And Hip Pain
The stretch, bend, twist, and turns of yoga are the answers to many unknown and known problems of our body. These twists and stretches can be specific to some areas but do imply beneficial effects in more than just the targeted areas. So is yoga good for back and hip pain? The answer is yes for sure !!
Specific asanas when practiced with regularity will let your back and hip pain heal with many more internal benefits. In addition to relieving pain, these yoga postures will help you boost up your stamina, increases immunity, reduces your body stiffness, and recovers your joints and muscles back to their places.
So without wasting much time, let us head towards the poses.
Hip Back And Knee Pain Try These 3 Yoga Stretches For Your Glutes
Back pain? Knee pain? Hip pain? Did you know all of these can occur from tight glutes? Tightness in the glutes often causes pain in the knee, hip or back by slightly altering the position of the leg, causing an uneven distribution of forces through the knee. It is also a common cause of back pain as it can lead to back stiffness. Here are three great glute stretches that can help improve flexibility, relieve back, hip and knee pain and prevent injuries. These stretches will be most effective if you hold them for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
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Advancing Your Yoga Workout
For a slightly more advanced yoga workout, Turczan says Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 poses, along with side angle pose, may help decompress the spine.
“As long as you support these poses using your abdominal muscles, they will train you to lift the ribs up off the pelvis.”
Turczan cautions people with arthritis to move very slowly when transitioning between the warrior poses and from warrior pose to side angle pose.
Standing Yoga Poses For Hip Pain
1. Mountain Pose with Block | 5 breaths
Mountain pose helps build balance and reminds you to engage your core. It is a very effective yoga pose to start your practice with because it is beginner-friendly and allows for complete breath and centering.
- Place a block between your thighs and squeeze it.
- As you press your thighs into the block, also use them to press the block slightly back .
- Take deep breaths and try to relax the mind
2. Mountain Pose with Step Downs | 5 Breaths per side
Mountain pose helps strengthen your gluteus medius, which helps stabilize your pelvis. It is an approachable and relaxing pose for most.
- This time, place a block on the ground.
- Put your left foot on top of it and your right foot on the ground.
- Focus on keeping that neutral alignment of your pelvis here as you add in some simple movement.
- Firm your left outer hip and slowly lift your right foot to the height of your left.
- While keeping the neutral pelvis and engaged outer hip, slowly step your right foot back down.
- Repeat 4 times then switch sides.
3. Mountain Pose with Leg Lifts | 5 breaths per side
Mountain pose with leg lifts helps strengthen your hip flexors and improve balance.
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Supported Savasana Recommended Duration: 10 Minutes
Savasana connects the entire practice, where life becomes clearer yet softer its the remedy to our busy selves.
- Lie down onto your back.
- Place a bolster directly under your knees.
- Place a blanket under your head for support. Arms can rest by your sides with the palms facing up.
- Close the eyes, take a deep breath in, and let it go.
- Take another big breath, and exhale everything out.
Dynamic Butterfly Pose Variation
What it does: Strengthens the inner thigh muscles then loosens the lower back, hamstrings, hip flexors, and inner thighs.
How to do it: From seated, bring the soles of your feet together at a comfortable distance away from your body and let your knees drop wide to make a diamond shape with your legs. Lightly clasp your feet with your hands then slowly lift both knees into the light resistance of your elbows and slowly lower 10 times. Next, come into a passive stretch by tilting the top of your pelvis forward, placing your hands on the ground in front of your feet, and straightening your spine. Then maintain a flat back as you walk your hands forward until you find a stretching sensation in your thighs. Hang out there for 5-10 slow breaths.
Want to see more yoga poses? Check out my yoga pose directory to find more yoga postures for your practice.
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Half Lord Of The Fish
Half lord of the fish is more of a twist than a stretch for your hips which means it will stimulate weak hips muscles. This stimulation will bring healing effects to the muscles surrounding and supporting your hip region. Half lord of the fish will also increase the mobility of the hip joint and the related ligaments.
- Sit in a staff position.
- Bend and fold up your right knee.
- Take your right leg over your left leg, and to the left side.
- Place your right foot against the left knee.
- Keep your upper body erect.
- Now hold your right knee with your left hand, and twist your body to your right and turn right by 90 degrees.
- Your chest should be facing your initial right.
- Look in the direction of your right shoulder.
- Hold the floor behind your sitting bones with your right hand.
- Breathe steadily and hold the pose for 5-7 breaths.
- Repeat the twist to your left.
If the twist while sitting feels difficult, sit on a chair and do the same pose. The concept will remain the same, only instead of Folding up your right knee over your left, you simply stack the right knee over your left.
Supported Supine Spinal Twist Recommended Duration: 10 Minutes
This supported, gentle twist is a beautiful posture to help relieve stress and tension along the sides and mid-section of the body. Its also a great tool to aid digestion.
- Place the bolster behind the body, vertical length, and in the middle of your mat.
- From a seated position, bend both knees, and let them spill over to the right.
- Bring the bolster directly in line with your right hip. On an inhale breath grow tall from the ground up.
- Let the chest melt over the bolster and bring the left ear to the bolster on an exhale breath.
- For an added twist switch the position of your head, bringing the right ear to the bolster. Stay for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
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Exacerbation Of Posterior Hip Pain In The Twisted Lunge Pose
As we discussed in the warrior pose, when one side of the joint is placed in an extreme of opening or closing, the opposite side of the joint is exposed to the opposite extreme. So, if the anterior joint is in an extreme closed position a position of impingement the posterior aspect of the joint will be in an extreme open position. For most people this is not much of an issue, as the deep posterior acetabulum provides excellent posterior stability for the joint. However, for those with femoral retroversion, reduced bony coverage posteriorly and/or a lack of adequate posterior capsuloligamentous integrity , this position may place the posterior joint at risk.
Learn more about posterior hip instability here
More Yoga Poses To Help Relieve Hip And Lower Back Pain
After we saw how helpful our first blog post on this topic was, we decided to create another blog with nine more yoga moves to ease hip and low back aches and enhance total body mobility. Both of these blogs are for anyone who has ever felt a twinge of back pain, grimaced from tight hips, or simply needed to hit their bodys refresh button after a long day.
Run through any or all of these moves whenever you feel stiff, achy, or mentally or physically spent. As with any exercise, go deeper into the move if it feels good, but back off if you feel even a hint of pain or acute discomfort.
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Best Yoga For Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
Yoga will not make your arthritis worse because many yoga poses require flowing movements and allow you to use props to aid your balance. Some of the best yoga poses for hip pain are:
- Dynamic snow angel legs: Lie on your back with arms on your sides and your legs flat on the floor close together. Inhale and spread your legs wide on the floor and then exhale as you bring your legs back to the center.
- Dynamic reclined hip stretches: Lie on your back with legs straight and then inhale as you raise your arms overhead and back toward the floor. Then bend your right knees and bring your hands to hold the knee. Inhale and then use your right hand to guide your knee toward the right gently, and then exhale and use your left hand to guide the knee six inches over to the left.
- Inhale and guide your knee back to the center, and then hold the back of your leg and straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Then inhale, bend your knee, let go of your foot, take your foot to the floor, and straighten your leg on the ground. Repeat the same movements with your left knee.
- Dynamic Locust Pose: Lie on your stomach and inhale as you lift your chest and your right knee without bending your leg. Then exhale as you move your chest and right leg back to the floor. Repeat the same movements for your left leg.
Its better to go to a trained yoga instructor to show you alternatives to yoga poses to avoid with hip arthritis.
What Causes Lower Back Pain
Outside of the more common medical reasons, such as a bulging disk or osteoarthritis, a major cause of lower back pain is prolonged sitting or standing . The more you sit, the less you use your stabilizing muscles, causing them to weaken and have difficulty doing their job when you need them, leading to pulled/strained or sprained muscles .
When your muscles are weak, the simplest actions can cause lower back pain: picking up your child, carrying something heavy, or twisting the wrong way in the car.
These yoga poses help relax tight muscles, strengthen weak muscles, and ease lower back pain. But remembertake your time getting into each pose, and if something hurts at any point, stop! Adapt your practice to how your body feels in each moment, and be gentle with yourself to ensure you dont make your back pain worse.
How Should You Use Lower Back Stretches Like These Yoga Poses To Help Reduce Back Pain
Although each of the stretches below are helpful on their own, theyre especially beneficial as a flow, New York Citybased yoga instructor Shanna Tyler tells SELF.
For lower back pain relief, try choosing five or six from the list below as a flow, and plan on holding each pose for 10 seconds to one minute, making sure to take deep breaths throughout the hold.
If your lower back feels relief with that sequence, you can work up to holding each pose for longer, up to three minutes. In terms of frequency, you can do yoga daily if youd like, but if youre doing beginner yoga for back pain, start with just a couple times per week. Also, many people find it useful to break up these lower back stretches into a few mini-sessions when their back feels particularly tight, like first thing in the morning or after sitting at work all day.
- Child’s Pose
- Knees to Chest With Slow Rock
- Reclined Pigeon Pose
Childs Pose Shown Here Is A Gentle Way To Stretch The Lower Back
Including yoga in your exercise routine can be helpful if you’re living with the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis , like pain and stiffness in your back.
We dont have a cure for AS, so yoga and other nonimpact exercises are great options, says Melvyn A. Harrington Jr., MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Folks who have milder disease and dont have significant stiffness can do more yoga poses than someone who has advanced disease, Dr. Harrington notes.
For anyone, though, the expression “no pain, no gain” does not apply here you don’t want to add to any pain you’re already feeling, so you’ll want to start slowly and tailor the yoga poses to your abilities.
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Yoga Poses To Avoid With Hip Arthritis
You can tell which yoga poses to avoid with hip arthritis. For example, if you feel pain when you do the lunge pose, you know that pose is not suitable for you. However, this does not mean that you have to stop doing yoga because there is yoga for osteoarthritis of the hip.
The Best Pregnancy Stretches To Relieve Back Pain
Here are some of the best pregnancy stretches for back pain.
Its amazing at what a few movements can do to relieve even tough muscle aches!
For each yoga stretch, well show you a photo, along with the step by step instructions to do the pose.
Have fun, take it easy and make sure to practice your deep breathing.
Itll be a wonderfully calming time you and your baby will benefit from all day!
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Exacerbation Of Anterior Hip Pain In Warrior Pose
End range extension of the back hip in this pose places large loads on the anterior joint structures and hip flexors. The combination of extension and external rotation of the back hip places even greater loads on the anterior capsuloligamentous structures. Particularly if the individual has inadequate local stability mechanisms, excessive anterior shear of the femoral head within the acetabulum may occur. This increases pressure on the anterosuperior chondral surfaces, the labrum and chondrolabral junction and the capsule. With the iliopsoas at its maximal length and actively contracted, the psoas tendon may strongly impinge against the adjacent anterior labrum and the femoral head. If there is already painful pathology of the labrum, such forces particularly when sustained, are likely to provoke hip pain. If the patient has painful iliopsoas tendon pathology, the sustained compression as it wraps around the femoral like a fulcrum, can also be provocative.
Those most likely to be at highest risk of injury or pain exacerbation from sustaining such a position are individuals with excessive femoral anteversion and/or reduced anterior stability acetabular dysplasia, hypermobility spectrum disorders or hypermobile EDS, labral insufficiency or focal capsuloligamentous incompetence related to an injury, overstretching or surgery .
Learn more about anterior hip instability here