The back is a well-designed body part that is made up of bones, muscles, nerves, and soft body tissues. It is very important because the bones of the back acts as a supporting frame for the back and the whole body. The back muscles work with abdominal muscles to keep the body upright and mobile.
However, because of the stress of everyday life, many individuals tend to overwork or overuse their back muscles, which then leads to back pain. This condition may hamper performance and affect every day. Common symptoms of back pain may include spasms, stiffness, pain, numbness, and sometimes pain in the leg area and depends on the cause of pain and its severity. Back pain is one the most frequent health complaints that are received by doctors in the UK. However, individuals experiencing back pain should not despair because of the availability of many methods and medication that may give back pain relief. One of the most popular alternative back pain treatments is yoga.
Not long ago, the primary treatment for chronic back pain was sufficient rest and the use of painkillers. Today, doctors are encouraging their patients to manage pain and illness by engaging in activities like yoga. Many medical researchers suggest that yoga is one of the most effective treatments for body pain in general. Yoga works by building strength, improving flexibility, and reducing joint and muscle pain.
However, not all forms of yoga can be used for back pain relief. When the back is injured or hurting, slow-paced and gentle stretches and poses should be practiced, as opposed to vigorous or dynamic forms. Some yoga poses and stretches may aggravate back pain and lead to serious injuries.
A type of yoga called Viniyoga is adapted from yoga that gives emphasis on precise deep breathing and slow stretches. Another type of yoga called Iyengar yoga, focuses on accurate bodily alignment. Students of this practice use different props like straps, blocks, blankets, and many more. This type of yoga works best with individuals who have little mobility and need some support.
Individuals who want to engage in physical activities like yoga should consult doctors and other health professionals before taking yoga classes. Certain injuries to the wrist, back, and ankles may prevent some individuals from practicing yoga postures and positions.
Furthermore, yoga should always be practiced with care and precaution. Some people have reported injuries that were acquired by executing yoga postures without focus, or by attempting difficult positions without working on them gradually or by not having proper supervision. Oftentimes, beginners complain of muscle soreness and fatigue after engaging in yoga. These effects may disappear with continuous practice. Yoga is a great way to strengthen the body and improve overall health.
Whether your back pain is acute or chronic, talk to your doctor before you start any new exercise routine. Then approach this sequence as a form of self-care: Go easy, soothing your nerves, mind, and body. Use deep, fluid breaths to move from pose to pose. Here are some postures to try at home.
Half Knees-to-Chest Pose
Lie comfortably on your back. On the exhale, draw your right knee toward your chest and hold your right shin with both hands. In this and the following 4 poses, do not press your lower back to the floor; instead, maintain a natural lumbar curve. Slowly inhale to release the right leg back to the floor, then exhale to draw in the left knee; inhale to release. Repeat, alternating right and left, 4 more times.
Thread the Needle Pose
Bring both knees in toward your chest, then place your right ankle on your left thigh, just above the knee. Hold your left thigh. If you want to increase the stretch, bring your left thigh forward and press your right knee away from your torso. Be mindful of the natural curve in your lower back and keep your shoulders relaxed. Exhale to release, then switch sides. After finishing on the left, roll to one side and use your hands to come to a seated position.
Marjaryasana and Bitilasana
Come onto your hands and knees with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Inhale to gently drop your lower belly and lift your sitting bones and sternum, or chest, then exhale to round your back and gaze toward your navel. The aim is to gently stretch and increase circulation to the back muscles. Do 5 slow rounds.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Tuck your toes and lift your hips up and back. If you feel any tightness along the backs of your legs, keep your knees bent. Try to make your spine as long as possible by pressing into the pads of the palms, reaching through your arms, and lengthening the sides of your body. Keep your ears in line with your upper arms and gaze at your upper thighs.
I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.