Lower back pain is among the most common complaints people in the U.S. deal with every year. According to statistics from the Mayo Clinic, most adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives, from high-trained athletes to office workers living a sedentary lifestyle can experience back pain. Chronic lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor and/or a Chiropractic doctor. This pain is usually caused by lifestyle habits, like working long hours at a desk job or sitting with poor posture. Thankfully for most, the pain is often only temporary, while others can experience more debilitating pain and more frustrating to treat. The good news is you can help strengthen your back pain, improve circulation and stretch the spine and nerves for instant relief with yoga. Here are some incredible yoga poses to help in back pain treatment.
Benefits of Child’s Pose: Stretches the entire back, legs, ankles, thighs, hips and knees. This low-key pose is an amazing way to wind down and relax, releases the back and neck as well as, relieve stress and fatigue.
To do the pose: start on your hands and knees. Widen out your knee as far as shoulder width apart. Big toes touch each other. Slowly start to drop your hips back to rest on your heels. Rest your forehead on the floor and you can either extend your arms straight out towards the front of the mat, or drape your arms on the floor alongside your body. Now focus on your breath and rest your body, continue to breathe and feel your spine lengthen and feel a great release of the low back. Stay in the pose for at least 1 minute up to 10 minutes.
Twists is a great posture for someone who has dealt with a lot of digestive upset. Twists are postures that generally involve moving the shoulder girdle to face in an opposing direction in relation to the hips. There are different twists that target the upper, middle and lower portions of the torso, all having their own unique set of health benefits.
Improve digestive function: When you are in a twist, you will be essentially compressing your digestive organs – placing them under weight. This will cause a lack of circulation. When you release your twist there will be a rush or fresh blood that will flood your digestive organs. Fresh blood flow equals fresh oxygen and nutrients. Twisting will increase blood flow to the digestive organs, thus increasing their ability to function.
Detox: As mentioned above, when you twist you will cut off blood supply to your digestive organs, and then re-introduce fresh blood to your abdominal organs when you release your twist. This re-introduction of fresh blood can help to cleanse the cells of any built up waste because with increased circulation comes increased cellular detoxification. You can also help to move stagnated impurities and gas through your digestive tract due to the compression that comes with twisting.
Maintain normal spinal rotation: The muscles and other tissues that surround the spine can become stiff overtime. This will lead to a decreased range of motion, pain and discomfort that can really affect quality of life. Practicing twisting postures helps to keep the spinal muscles mobile, helping to keep you mobile as well.
Helps with the reduction of back pain: Slumping over a computer at the office, slouching behind the steering wheel, sitting in chairs that offer poor back support and standing with our shoulders drooping forward are all things most of us do on a daily basis. All of these habits can lead to back pain. Twists stretch and strengthen the back muscles which can provide serious relief from the back pain caused by everyday life.
De-stress-or: Twists are wonderful postures if you deal with stress or anxiety. These postures will help to open the chest, shoulders and back, all of which can help to decrease feelings of anxiousness. You will be releasing stored tension in the body as you twist, which can have a positive effect on your mental state. You will get double the benefit if you combine your twist with slow, rhythmic breathing as well.
To Do This Pose: Slowly lower yourself down from standing until you are lying on your back. Hug your knees to your chest, and then slowly lower your knees to your right side, so that your right leg is resting on the floor and your left leg is stacked on top of the right. Keeping both of your shoulders in contact with the floor, extend your arms out alongside you and turn your face to your left side. Stay here for 5 breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.
The Downward Facing Dog
The most iconic pose in yoga is the downward dog. It allows your entire body to rejuvenate as your raise your hips in an upside-down V position. Keep your head and neck relaxed as your draw your inner thighs back. Spread your shoulder blades apart as your stretch your back and lift your hips up to open your lower back. Take 7 deep breaths and repeat.
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression.
- Energizes the body.
- Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands.
- Strengthens the arms and legs.
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
- Relieves menstrual discomfort when done with head supported.
- Builds strong bones and helps prevent osteoporosis.
- Improves digestion.
- Relieves Headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue.
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, and sinusitis.
Triangle pose can help prevent serve back and joint relief by strengthening and stretching the back. Begin standing with your feet 3 ft. apart and parallel to each foot. Rotate your left foot to allow the right heel to stay in line with the arch of the right foot. Extend your arms to the side as your tilt your hips and reach your left hand towards the ground. Slowly rotate your body to you side and lift your right hand towards the sky. Let your body gaze at your right hand and hold for seven breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
Done properly and consistently, there are many benefits to triangle pose: Stretches legs, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hips, groin muscles, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine. Strengthens legs, knees, ankles, obliques, back and stimulates function of abdominal organs.
“The Cat and Cow poses are simple and provide great benefits, including opening the lungs for better breathing.” – Andrew Weil, M.D.
Both the Cat and Cow poses stretch the lower spine, hips, back and core muscles. They also open the chest and lungs allowing for easier breathing. Practicing the Cat and Cow poses may improve posture and promote a healthy spine.
How to Perform Cat-Cow Pose
- Start by kneeling on your hands and knees, and gaze at a spot on the floor about three feet in front of you. Make sure your knees are in line with your hips and wrists, and that your elbows and shoulders are perpendicular to the floor.
- Inhale and slowly round your spine toward the ceiling. Drop your head toward the floor but do not force your chin into your chest. Make sure you keep your arms and legs perpendicular to the floor. This is the Cat Pose.
- Exhale and slowly bring your spine back to starting position returning your gaze to the original spot.
- Inhale and lift both your chest and tailbone to the ceiling while curving your back down towards the floor. Raise your head up but do not force it into your back. Pick a spot in the distance and fix your gaze. Keep your knees down and make sure your hands and legs are still perpendicular to the floor. This is Cow Pose.
- Exhale and slowly bring your spine back to starting position returning your gaze to the original spot at which you started. Repeat this alternating Cat and Cow pose with each inhale and exhale. Do this 10 to 20 times.
- Improves posture and balance.
- Strengthens and stretches the spine and neck.
- Stretches the hips, abdomen and back.
- Increases coordination.
- Massages and stimulates organs in the belly, like the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- Creates emotional balance.
- Relieves stress and calms the mind.
- Stimulates organs including gastrointestinal tract
- Aids breathing by stretching chest and lungs.
- Relieves lower back pain and sciatica.
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Improved athletic performance.
- Protection from injury.