Yoga Poses To Do For Back Pain
In the computer age of sedentary, hunched-over lifestyles, it’s good to have yoga poses in our repertoire to repair and relieve stress from our backs.
Everyday stress, too much sitting, various injuries or jerks, inappropriate pillows, inadequate footwear, and the aging process can all make our backs hurt. Even exercising excessively and carelessly can lead to severe back problems.
In the computer age, an age of sedentary, hunched-over lifestyles, it’s good to have some yoga poses in our repertoire to repair and relieve stress from our fragile backs. Here are 10 of the finest.
An Upward Forward Bend Releases Tight Hamstring And Back Muscles
Sometimes called a forward fold, the upward forward bend stretches the hamstrings and back muscles while providing a release for tight, tense shoulders.
Try it: Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart and your knees loose, not locked. While you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching toward the floor. Dont worry if you cant reach all the way to the floor at first just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. Repeat the pose five to seven times. On the last bend hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.
Salabhasana Or Locust Pose
Salabhasana prepares one for deeper back bending. It strengthens the back, buttocks, legs and arms. It also helps improving your posture and relieves stress. It activates your abdominal organs too.
How to do it
- Lie on your stomach with your arms next to your torso and your palms facing up.
- Slowly lift your legs off the mat, halfway, or all the way up.
- To deepen the pose, lift your head, chest, and arms.
- Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute and release the pose with exhalation.
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Here Are Five Yoga Poses For Your Back
Childs Pose, Cat-Cow, Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana , Chair Pose, and Paripurna Navasana . Childs pose helps relax your back muscles while stretching your spine. Cat-Cow stretches out your entire body in a very gentle way you can either do it as a static stretch or gently move between both poses to transition from one side of your body to another.
Feel Better With These Yoga Poses For Back Pain
These yoga poses for back pain are a general guideline to help with back pain and can be performed in any specific order. Always listen to your body, breathe deeply into the postures, and back out if any pain arises. You are your own best teacher!
The above yoga poses for back pain barely scratch the surface of how yoga can restore the body, especially for those who suffer from back pain. Seek out a yoga workshop, a private yoga lesson, or a yoga therapist to learn more about your body and how yoga can help.
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Yoga As A Back Pain Treatment
An articlepublished in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2017 studied 320 patients who had chronic back pain over three months.
One group attended physical therapy, the second group attended yoga, and the third group received educational materials on low back pain.
Although they all saw improvements in their condition after 12 weeks, those who attended physical therapy or yoga were less likely to take pain medication after three months. These findings suggest that yoga is a good alternative treatment for back pain.
Try these 8 poses below to see if yoga might be a fit for you:
# Yoga Exercises For Upper Back Pain Relief
If youre experiencing upper back pain, try out these essential yoga poses that target the upper part of the spine and should help alleviate your discomfort.
1. Double V Pose
Lie down on your stomach.
Place your head on a pillow or soft block to raise it lightly.
Cross your arms so that the palms face down. This helps you relax and calm down. Stretch your arms as much as possible.
Switch the arms and repeat. Do five repetitions on each arm.
2. Shoulder Roll
Start by standing or sitting with a neutral spine and engaged core. Pull your shoulders back. Start the shoulder roll by raising your shoulders toward your ears.
Do this without putting your back, neck, or shoulders together. Pull your shoulders back when you shrug up as high as you can go.
Pull your shoulders down with your mid-back. When you reach the neutral starting position, push your shoulders forward and keep your core strong.
Pull up again to start another roll. Perform 10 to 15 shoulder rolls. Take a 30 seconds rest. And try a number of sets.
3. Puppy Pose
Come on your knees and hands, assume the tabletop position.
Gradually slide your hands forward, until they are a little ahead of your shoulders.
Keep breathing out, and move your buttocks back halfway to your heels.
Without bending the arms, bring your head toward the floor. Hold for about 15-20 seconds, and then bring your buttocks all the way down to your heels.
Return to the starting position.
4. Chair rotation
On each side, do it 3 times a day.
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Yoga Poses That Reduce Back Pain
Start with some deep breathing exercises in and out of the nose called pranayama. Prana means life force or energy and Yama means extension. Just think of a slight lengthening as you inhale and a releasing as you exhale. You will want to continue this practice of breath awareness through each of the following poses for 3-5 rounds or more depending on the time you have available. So grab your yoga mat and lets go!
Triangle Pose Lengthens Torso Muscles To Build Strength
Triangle pose is great for strengthening the back and legs and can help lengthen your muscles along the sides of your torso while stretching the muscle fibers along your outer hip .
Try it: Start standing straight with your feet together. Next, lunge your left foot back three to four feet, and point your left foot out at a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up the pose by stretching your right arm toward the ground and the left arm toward the ceiling, keeping both your right and left legs straight. You may not be able to touch the ground with your right arm at first, so dont overstretch only bend as far as you can while maintaining a straight back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.
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Is It Okay To Do Yoga With Lower Back Pain
If you have any history of lower back injuries, problems with your discs, or experience pain that lasts more than 72 hours without improving, Dr. Cyrelson suggests seeing a physical therapist before doing any exercises. If you have an issue that requires medical attention, it’s best to address it before it becomes worse.
If your lower back pain is more of a general achiness or discomfort, though, it’s worth trying some yoga stretches to address any tightness and alignment issues. Stretches like childs pose and downward dog are particularly good because they provide a sense of relief, not just in the lower back but also throughout all your back musclesalleviating any tight spots.
Thread The Needle Pose
Begin with the Table position, which means on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, a hips-width apart. With your right arm , slide underneath your left arm.
At this point, your cheek and ear should be on the mat, and your hips should not shift their position. Make sure you don`t put all of your weight onto your neck. Come back to the Table pose and repeat the same steps on the other side.
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How A Weak Core Causes Lower Back Pain
Core here refers to the muscles of the lower back, hips, and abs.
The core muscles play a vital role in stabilizing our body and maintaining a proper posture while sitting, standing, and during any physical activity.
You must be wondering what your hips and abs got to do with your lower back pain. Most people have no clue about the connection between these three core muscles which is why lets clear this once and for all.
The answer lies in the anatomy of the lower back or lumbar.
The lower back further connects to the hip muscles at the posterior chain and to the abs at the anterior chain .
In most cases, the source of all lower back problems and pain originates from a weakness of the hips, rather than abs because the lumbar is directly connected to the glutes at the posterior chain. So, when either of these two muscles is overused and weakened, the lower back pain starts.
The main reason for the weakening of our back muscles is through our daily lifestyle of sitting for long periods of time whether for driving, studying, eating, reading, watching TV, playing video games, or working at the computer.
So, if you are sitting for long hours every day, are inactive, and are unwilling to do any form of exercise, chances are high that youll soon develop lower back pain.
Weak Core = Weak Lower Back
Strong Core = Strong Lower Back
Marjariasana Or Cat Pose
How to do it
- Come to table-top position with your knees and palms on the mat. Place your knees hip-width apart and palms shoulder-width apart. Place your palms perpendicular to the floor with shoulders stacked over your palms.
- Spread your toes and place your weight evenly on your feet. Firm your thigh muscles while rotating them inwards. Relax your shoulders and roll them back and down.
- Now slowly raise your chin up and push your stomach towards the floor while inhaling deeply. Hold the pose here and take a few deep breaths.
- Then slowly bring your chin down towards the chest and pushing the stomach and spine up making a curve. Do this with a deep exhalation.
- Repeat this sequence with a deep inhalation and a deep exhalation for a few minutes. Try to breathe consciously for better results.
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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.
Pigeon Pose Relaxes Hips By Stretching Rotators
Pigeon pose, which can be a little challenging for yoga newbies, stretches hip rotators and flexors. It may not seem like the most obvious position to treat a backache, but tight hips can contribute to lower back pain.
Try it: Start in Downward-Facing Dog with your feet together. Then draw your left knee forward and turn it out to the left so your left leg is bent and near perpendicular to your right one lower both legs to the ground. You can simply keep your back right leg extended straight behind you, or for an added hamstring stretch seasoned Pigeon posers, only! carefully pull your back foot off the ground and in toward your back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.
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What To Remember When Practicing Yoga For Upper Back Pain
Yes, yoga can help relieve upper back pain. But before you start your practice, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you dont cause further injury. Jasper says when practicing with upper back pain, be mindful of your shoulders rolling forward. Instead, she recommends consciously rolling your shoulders back throughout your practice. This movement allows your shoulder blades to glide down your back, keeping your chest openand your spine long. As always, consult a medical professional before starting any physical practice, especially if you have chronic upper back pain.
How Yoga Can Help With Lower Back Pain
Yoga is a mind-body practice first developed in ancient India, dating back thousands of years. Its popularity has spread across the Western world in just the last century.
In her book The Concise Book of Yoga Anatomy, author Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones says,
Yoga is a perfect example of balancing, strengthening and stretching at the hip joint in all three planes.
Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones
You must be thinking if yoga will help make your lower back stronger and if its really necessary to do any yoga exercises at all for your lower back.
If your goal is to strengthen your lower back, it is absolutely crucial to add a few relaxing yoga stretches and yoga exercises for your lower back to keep the balance and prevent sciatic nerve pain .
Yoga will also help improve your mobility and range of motion. Its for you to experiment with different yoga positions to perceive what feels better to you and benefits you the most.
If you are in constant or deliberating back pain right now, yoga is an easy movement to start with for temporary relief. In the early stages, yoga and stretching can offer you some relief from the back pain and a positive hope when you start seeing results.
Mentally, this will give you a jump start and proof that your small, consistent efforts are working, and someday soon you will be able to live pain-free if you push through adversity and keep going on this journey.
A few yoga facts related to lower back pain worth knowing:
Yoga Benefits for Lower Back Pain
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How Yoga Can Help Reduce Back Pain
Yoga is a very popular and safe form of exercise. Many people think of yoga as just a good way to relieve stress and tension, but it can also help you reduce back pain and maintain a healthy spine. Yoga poses, called asanas, are important because they help stretch and strengthen important back muscles.
Although there’s more to yoga than the posturesbreath control and meditation are just as essential as poses are in yogathis article highlights the benefits of doing yoga poses, including how they can prevent back pain.
This article highlights the benefits of doing yoga poses, including how they can help prevent back pain. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
Cat And Cow Pose Loosen The Back And Warm You Up
The perfect poses for an achy, sore back, Cow and Cat stretches loosen your back muscles, whether as part of a yoga routine or as a warm-up for another workout.
Try it: Starting in an all-fours position, move into Cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up and arching your back. Hold for a few seconds and then move to Cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head. Moving back and forth from Cat to Cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.
Repeat 10 times, flowing smoothly from Cat into Cow, and Cow back into Cat. Repeat the sequence as needed.
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Beginner Yoga Poses To Help Relieve Back Pain
Yoga can play a powerful role in relieving back pain. As a health coach at Hinge Health, I have the privilege of helping people overcome their chronic back and joint pain, so they can live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. By engaging our bodies, challenging our muscles, and moving in new ways, we can literally change the narrative of our pain stories and create a better outcome for ourselves.
The first step usually involves getting my clients comfortable moving their bodies in ways that they didn’t initially think possible. If you feel intimidated by yoga, youre not alone. You may believe that you have to be able to twist into pretzel-like shapes, wear skin-tight pants, and have impeccable balance to perfect the practice of yoga, but nothing could be further from the truth!
Yoga is truly accessible for every body type, every shape, and size, and is well-suited for all physical and mental conditions. Yoga is an effective practice for improving your strength, flexibility, and mobility, all the while fostering a greater sense of mindfulness. According to research published in 2020, 74% of individuals who practice yoga experience less lower back and neck pain.
Tips For Practicing Spinal Twist:
If you cant comfortably reach your elbow to the outside of your knee, wrap your arm around your knee instead. You can slightly pull on your thigh to deepen your twist.
Lengthen your spine towards the ceiling the entire time you hold this pose.
Keep an equal balance in your left and right sit bones on the floor.
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