Back pain is a complicated, personal experience! One individual may experience pain differently than another. Some experience pain that can flare up from time to time and then subside, only to flare up again, while others may experience ongoing, minor aches and pains.
There’s no need to live with nagging back pain. As one of the easiest forms of exercise, yoga stretches can help. A strong, well-conditioned back can help reduce pain because it means your back can withstand more stress, and protect the spine. When strengthening the back, it’s important to strengthen the body’s core muscles as well, which include the abdominal muscles, gluteus (buttocks), and the hip muscles. Taken together, these strong ‘core’ muscles can provide back pain relief because they support the spine, keeping it flexible when twisting or extending the body.
There are several yoga poses that are designed to gently strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back, which can reduce back pain. Let’s get started on a few basics.
Knees to Chest Pose
- First, find a comfortable place and lie down on your back with arms and legs extended. Make sure your back is flat on the floor (mat).
- Inhale, then exhale slowly, bringing both knees to the chest. Claps your hands around your legs.
- Give yourself a soothing massage while stretching your back — gently rocking back and forth, if you can.
- Begin on all fours in a tabletop position, making sure that your hands are under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Slowly exhale while rounding your back up to an arch like a cat. Bring your chin to your chest.
- On the exhale, drop your belly and raise your head, extending your buttocks upward.
- Move to a kneeling position. Rest your arms by your side as you learn forward, pressing your shoulders down, reaching your head.
- Slowly lower your buttocks towards your heels feeling a nice stretch in your lower back and hips – let your head rest on the floor.
- You can either place your arms alongside your body or above the head, which will gently stretch your back.
The yoga poses are meant to train the body to be healthy and supple, while gently strengthening the muscles in the back, as well as the abdominal (stomach) muscles. These muscles are essential components of the muscular network of the spine. When these muscles are well conditioned, back pain can be greatly reduced or avoided.
Be consistent when practicing yoga. It will result in improved posture while strengthening both sides of the body equally. Proper body alignment and good posture maintains the natural curvature of the spine, which is also an important part of reducing or avoiding lower back pain.
If you find that yoga stretches are not reducing your pain, you may need to consult with a physician. Back pain can be caused from various sources, including irritated large nerve roots that go into the legs and arms; large paired back muscles that support the spine may be strained; or any of the bones, ligaments, or joints throughout the spine may be injured.
Don’t live with constant pain. Dr. Kamson specializes in spinal treatment and back pain. Call the Spine Institute Northwest today at (208) 496–0630 so that you can find the underlying cause of your achy back – and have it alleviated permanently.