Gentle Yoga Stretches For Lower Back Pain Relief
Today I want to share with you a list of my most favorite gentle yoga stretches for hip and lower back pain relief.
Yoga and stretching are beneficial in so many ways. However, and speaking from experience, chronic muscle or joint pain can make stretching a challenge.
I often experienced more pain and flare-ups following yoga or an aggressive stretching routine.
I remember so many times not being able to get back up from the floor from the pain.
I know that pushing beyond certain ranges of motion or doing the wrong stretch for your body can quickly trigger pain.
So how can we apply stretching and get its physical and psychological benefits without making the pain worse?
Simply by choosing gentle lower back stretches that your body responds to in a positive way.
Always keep track of how youre feeling after each exercise or stretch.
Were all different.
And our bodies will respond in different ways to stretching and exercise depending on where we are in our healing journey.
So take the information you learn, and make it specific to your current level.
Different Types Of Yoga For Arthritis
While all yoga classes combine physical postures with breathing and meditation, the poses, sequence, and pace can vary significantly. To choose, think about your arthritis symptoms and your primary goal. Do you want help maintaining posture and alignment? Do you want a slow-paced class that emphasizes relaxation and tension relief or a fast-paced class that builds muscle?
Commonly offered yoga classes include:
Hatha yogaIn US and most of the West, hatha yoga is used as an umbrella term to describe many types of yoga. If a studio offers hatha yoga classes, call ahead or read studios description to find out what to expect. A beginner hatha yoga class with an experienced instructor is probably okay for most new yogis.
Iyengar yogaThis type of yoga is often recommended to people who have arthritis because it can be adapted for limited mobility in one or more joints. Assistive props, such as ropes and foam blocks, can be used during challenging poses. For example, people who cant bend over and touch their toes can place a foam block on the floor and reach for that, instead. Iyengar yoga prioritizes proper body alignment and precise movements.
Hot yoga and Bikram yogaHeat can loosen up soft tissues and make joints more flexible. When your soft tissues are more flexible, you can more comfortably bend and flex stiff, arthritic joints.
How Can I Reduce Lower Back Pain With Yoga
Simply put, the movementsand the isometric, or movement-free, holdsused in yoga can help you build both strength and mobility, both of which play a role in reducing low back pain.
“Yoga is great for working on flexibility and core stability, correcting posture, and breathingall of which are necessary for a healthy back,”Sasha Cyrelson, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S., clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy in Sicklerville, New Jersey, tells SELF.
She adds that yoga is generally safe to do daily. It’s important, though, to make sure you’re in tune with your body and to stop doing anything that makes any discomfort worse.
“Never stretch into a position of pain, Dr. Cyrelson says. Pain is how our bodies tell us something is wrong. If it actually hurts, ease up on the stretch.” That means you should feel a combination of muscle tension and release, but if theres any pinching, sharp pain, or brief numbness, ease way back on the stretch.
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Wide Standing Forward Bend
A great way to relieve lower back tension is with a wide forward bend.
Start by standing with your feet about 3 feet apart, knees slightly bent.
Bend forward at the waist, allowing your head to drop toward the floor.
Hold onto your elbows with opposite hands, which will help stretch your spine.
After a few deep breaths, switch arm grips, so the opposite arm crosses on top.
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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Extended Side Angle Pose
Hamstring strengthening is an important principle in improving muscle strength and decreasing pain in people with hip arthritis. Extended Side Angle places the front hip into abduction and external rotation, allowing for increased activation of the hamstrings. This change in the center of gravity, when compared to Warrior I, minimizes the activation of the hip adductor muscles and offers more potential for strength gains in the posterior leg muscles. Isometrically pull the front knee toward the trunk to activate the hamstrings.
Start in Warrior II Pose, with the left foot forward. Place the left forearm onto the left thigh, or the left hand to the floor or on a block outside your foot. Extend the right arm over the right ear to feel the extension in your right side body. The palm faces down to the ground with the fingers extending out in front of you. Extend both sides of the waist to reach out and over the front thigh. Engage the abdomen to protect the spine and side. Your gaze can extend toward your right hand, to the ground, or straight forward, depending on which is most comfortable for your neck. Hold for 5 breath cycles. To exit the pose, turn the torso to the mat to frame the left foot with your hands, and step back to Downward-Facing Dog Pose before switching sides.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Lay flat on your back on the ground or on your mat. Rotate your inner thighs externally and press your knees away from your hips. Move your feet until the soles are together. Do not push your knees down instead, push your feet against each other to feel a stretch in your hips.
If you want to use yoga to ease your hip pain, many poses can be adapted so you dont hurt yourself or exacerbate your existing pain. Be sure to follow your doctors instructions about physical limitations, even for yoga. You can also speak with your yoga instructor about the best ways to adapt your yoga practice for your hip pain.
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Yoga For Hip Pain: 10 Gentle Yoga Poses To Relieve Hip Muscles
Stiff and painful hips can drastically reduce your mobility, and obviously be a cause of constant misery. Your hips bridge your upper body to your lower, which makes them pivotal to all movements your body makes. In most cases, this is not a serious matter of concern. You can simply resolve this issue with a gentle yoga flow and stretching exercises for opening hips which relieve tension in your hip muscles.
Did you know your hip is your bodys largest ball-and-socket joint? And being so, it can withstand a significant degree of wear and tear, without letting you feel a thing. However in some cases, the damage is too extreme, and you begin to feel it in your hip. The damage can be caused to either of the following elements, bones, cartilages, muscles, or tendons.
Some common conditions that can cause hip pain are:
- Tear of the labrum cartilage
- Impact trauma
Downward Facing Dog Twist
Downward facing dog with a twist is the second holistic pose in this list, alongside the bridge pose. The normal downward facing dog itself is a pose with benefits like, improved blood circulation, enhanced nervous functions, heightened musculoskeletal strength, and much more. Adding the hip twist to the pose, focuses each of its benefits specifically towards the hip region.
- Get down on all fours, hands and knees
- Keep your legs hip width apart.
- Ensure your wrists are exactly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
- Lift your knees off the floor and push upward and backward with your buttocks.
- Push back till you can straighten your hands and stretch your upper back, and straighten your legs and knees.
- Push your chest downward and without breaking your knees, place your heels back on the floor.
- Now Twist your torso and turn to your right to touch your right foot with your left hand.
- Hold the twist for 2.3 breaths and return to the centre position.
- Twist your torso to your left and touch your left foot with your right hand.
- Hold the twist and take 2-3 breaths.
- Repeat the twist for 2-3 rounds and release.
You can practice the downward stretch and the downward stretch twist as two separate yoga poses, that will benefit you as well. In such a case, you can place a yoga block under your heels during the twisting pose.
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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.
Gentle Yoga Poses For Hip Pain Relief
If youre ready to be free of the pain youre holding in your hips, keep practice these poses of yoga for hip pain beginners level.
The following five yoga asanas are helpful to stretch and strengthen the muscles in and around the tight hips. Keep practice each pose with mindfulness and precautions.
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Points To Remember Before Practicing Yoga Postures For Hip Pain
While yoga is safe, there are certain points that you must remember to get the best results from yoga for hip pain, such as:
Hip joint can be regarded amongst the strongest joints in the human body and, being a typical ball and socket joint, it offers a wide range of motion. While it is highly resilient against normal wear out, it is not indestructible.
Therefore, it is recommended that you take good care of your hip joint with muscle strengthening and stretching exercises for hip pain, to prevent injuries, avoids normal wear out, muscle pain, and other similar issues. Yoga for hip pain delivers great results to help you manage pain, improve muscle strength, and restore mobility of your hips.
When It Comes To Relief Of Hip Pain There Is A Variety Of Strategies Available
In addition to ice, hip pain can be eased with about 15 minutes of holding the affected area over a few times a day. Resting the affected joint as much as you can can until you feel better is a good idea. Alternatively, you may heat the area. An easy and warm bath in the shower will allow muscles to recover and be prepared for stretching exercises.
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Side Plank On Forearm
Hip abductor weakness is common in hip and knee arthritis. When the hip abductors are weak, you might shift your weight over the hip where you feel pain when you walk. That causes the pelvis to tilt downward instead of upward, which increases compressive forces on the inner knee joint. Side Plank is one of the best exercises to strengthen the gluteus medius muscle, which is the primary hip abductor.
Come into a Forearm Plank. Rotate the right forearm so the fingers of the right hand point toward the left hand and your right forearm is at a 45-degree angle to the front edge of the mat. Roll to the outer edge of your right foot, stacking your left foot over the right. Press the hips up and away from the mat, engaging the core and right inner thigh up into the left leg. Lift the left fingertips to the sky and press the right forearm down into the mat as you stack the shoulders. Gaze forward or up to the left hand. Hold for 3 to 5 breath cycles. Repeat on the other side. If this pose is too hard on your shoulders, lower the bottom knee to the mat for more support.
Purvottanasana And Figure 4 Variations
Poor postures such as slouching on the couch tend to tip your hips backward leading to lower back kyphosis, anterior compression for your lumbar spine, and a posterior slant of your pelvis.
Figure 4 stretching yoga posture with a little anterior tilting of the pelvis can come handy in engaging the spinal cord and reminding your body to spread weight into your sitz bones in equal proportion, along with stretching the lateral and external rotators of your hip.
Those experiencing discomfort in practicing Figure 4 can release onto the ground to practice Thread the Needle yoga pose. Focus on holding the rear part of your thigh instead of the front part of your shin for safeguarding your knee joint from unnecessary stress.
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Start With A Qualified Yoga Instructor
No matter what type of yoga you decide to try, youre encouraged to begin with a qualified instructor. Save the yoga videos for later, when youre more confident with your yoga practice. If possible, find an instructor who has experience working with people with chronic conditions like arthritis. This may require a call to the studio ahead of time.
Before class starts, tell the instructor about which joints are affected by arthritis or injuries. He or she should be able to show you ways to modify poses before or during class.
If it hurts, stopYoga stretches muscles, and stretching can feel uncomfortable. Joint pain, however, is a sign of a possible injury and should be avoided. Dont do a pose if it causes pain, even if it seems like everyone else in the class can do it.
Half Pigeon Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
This pose is also known as the Pigeon Pose which provides a similar action to Figure 4 above and stretches the same muscles. When in the variation with the chest lifted, focusing on the shoulders being squared and aligned with the hips will provide a better stretch in the hip flexors and iliacus muscles. When folding over your bent leg, you may feel a deeper stretch in that same hip. Just be mindful of the bent knee. Sometimes the body weight can be too much for the joint. If so, adjust the upper body position to take the pressure off. The bent leg positions, in both figure 4 and pigeon pose, open the inner thigh and the shortened and tightened adductor muscles. For those with tight hips, it is better to stick with Figure 4.
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Mountain Pose / Tadasana
Mountain Pose is an asana that gives your hands and feet a good stretch, which means that it will benefit your hip joint. Body posture improves and pain in the lower part of the hips decreases.
How to do:
- First of all, stand on a yoga mat with the legs and waist straight.
- Take care to keep the heels together.
- In the next step, raise the fingers of the hands by holding them together.
- The palms should be towards the sky.
- Now breathing slowly, lift the ankles up and stand on the feet.
- After this, drag both arms and legs upwards.
- When the body is completely tanned, try to stay in this posture for a while.
- In last, Put the entire weight of your body on the feet.
- Maintain this pose for 2 minutes.
Know more about this asana click here: Tadasana