21 Jul Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief
Over 85% of the US population suffers from some form of back pain. Whether your job requires you to lift heavy objects or sit at a computer for most of the day, it seems everyone has an ache or two – and for good reason. As the core support system for your body, the back and core muscles supply the rest of the body with its central source of strength. Unfortunately, this also means the back bares the brunt weight of stress. The good news is that a sound yoga routine for your back can help alleviate pain and strengthen muscles for support. Yoga has proven to help heal back pain and prevent reoccurring pain more than traditional treatments alone.
Follow these back pain relief yoga poses to strengthen your back and say sayonara to back pain.
The Warm Up
Before engaging in any form of stretch and strength training, even with yoga, it’s important to first warm up the core. A warm up will get muscles moving and blood flowing to ease your body into your practice.
Start in Child’s Pose to begin your practice. Spread your knees apart and rest your chest on the floor with your arms stretched in front of you. You will feel a stretch in your back, hips, and thighs. Breath into the pose to calm your mind and allow the spine to relax. Child’s pose is the position you will return to whenever you feel too strained as it is an active resting pose to provide the body with a break while still maintaining the benefits of your practice.
Cat & Cow Pose
Begin on your hands and knees directly below your shoulders and hips to prepare for Cat & Cow Pose. As you breathe in, raise your shoulders and drop your belly into cow pose. On the exhale, arch your back and round your shoulders into cat pose. Continue this motion slowly with each breath and shift into each pose to really feel the stretch. Cat and cow pose warm up the core and lubricate the back to get it ready for the poses to follow.
Shift into Downward Dog by raising your knees and shifting your body into a V by supporting weight on your hands and balls of your feet. Downward dog stretches the shoulders and upper back to alleviate tension and build flexibility while lengthening the spine. The stretch may feel intense in your calves at first, so lightly pedal your feet to warm up.
Strengthen & Build
Stretching aching back muscles is only one part of a two-step process. To keep back pain at bay, it’s vital to build up the contracting and supporting muscles as well. The following poses will flex, twist and build back muscles while extending the spine.
Begin your strengthen your back with a low impact Kneeling Lunge Pose. This pose opens the hips that aid in supporting the lower back. Choose a side to begin and step your foot forward between your hands at a 90-degree angle beneath your knee. Raise your hands to lengthen the spine and open the chest. Lightly twist to improve the spine’s range of motion. Repeat on the opposite side.
From the lunge position, rise to both feet with arms lifted for Warrior 1. Make sure to keep your hips aligned by bringing the back hip forward. Warrior 1 works to energize the body while creating stability in the lower body and back. Stability and good posture helps to alleviate back pain and prevent further injury. Good posture has also been shown to increase confidence – bonus points.
Locust Pose is one of the best moves to strengthen the back, especially for those just beginning their yoga practice. Grouped as a baby backbend, locust engages the entire back to strengthen and elongate muscles along the spine. Simply lie on your belly and lift your chest and legs off the mat in a superman-like move.
After strengthening and engaging your back muscles, it’s important to gently relax and massage the muscles you just worked.
Happy Baby Pose
Also known as Dead Bug Pose, Happy Baby Pose stretches the lower back by shifting the spinal muscles toward the floor. The pose doubles as a massage using the body’s own weight. While on your back, bend your legs in the air and grab your feet. Gently pull your feet toward you chest.
Knees To Chest
From Happy Baby Pose, hug your knees into your chest. This pose furthers the movement and stretch of the previous pose while rounding the back. For a massage, gently roll back and forth along the spine.
Supported Corpse Pose
End your practice with Supported Corpse Pose to release all tension from the back, body and mind. Lie on your back and place a pillow below your knees. Close your eyes, take deep breaths and allow the body to relax. Stay here for as long as you like and if your body just so happens to drift into a light sleep, let it.
Take back pain relief a step further with chiropractic adjustments to properly align the spine and optimize performance. South Florida Chiropractic Physician Dr. Richard M. Davidson is a strength conditioning specialist and certified Pilates instructor committed to enhancing human health and fitness through education, management and service. Call the Boca Raton chiropractic office at (561)826-3808 to make an appointment.