Manage Back Pain With Yoga

If you are suffering from back pain; you are not alone. These days, back pain is a very common complaint; experienced by many. Various factors like increased work pressures, long sitting hours, lifting or overstraining, bad postures, stress, injuries or other illnesses can contribute to this. The causes of back pain may vary amongst different people but if there is not much severe pathology involved, simple measures can be helpful.

The main focus in managing back pain is to provide the necessary strength and flexibility to the muscles and tissues supporting the back. Another important aspect is to practice stress management techniques that can keep stress at bay. Stress can be a trigger causing the muscles to get tensed; thus initiating back pain.

Manage Back Pain With Yoga

Yoga is one such therapy to manage back pain that can offer you with stretching, flexibility and strengthening exercises or poses that can be very effective in providing relief from back pain.

While some yoga poses are for general back pain, some are very specific to the medical condition of a person. If you are experiencing a medical condition, seek medical advice before beginning with any exercise or yoga program. To ensure that the yoga poses and stress management or breathing techniques are performed safely, it is advisable to follow the advice of a yoga expert.

6 Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief

The following 6 yoga poses can help you manage your back pain effectively:

  1. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana-An Effective Yoga Pose for Back Pain Relief

    Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana-An Effective Yoga Pose for Back Pain Relief

    To do Bridge Pose or Setu bandhasana, lie on your back and if required, place a support under your shoulders. Raise your knees and keep them bent while let the feet rest on the floor with heels together.

    Next, slowly raise the pelvic portion and press the feet firmly on the floor. Lift the buttocks from the floor and place your hands straight below your pelvis. Hold this position for few seconds and come back to original position. Bridge Pose or Setu bandhasana helps to stretch and strengthen the spine and the back muscles, reduces back pain.

  2. Knee to Chest or Wind Liberating Pose (Pavanmuktasana) for Upper Back Pain Relief

    Knee to Chest or Wind Liberating Pose (Pavanmuktasana) for Upper Back Pain Relief

    Lie on your back with arms and legs freely stretched out. Bring your legs close to each other. Slowly raise your legs straight up and then bend them at the knees to fold them completely and bring down to touch knees to the chest and press the thighs on the belly.

    Then clasp your interlocked hands around the folded legs and press the legs on your belly. Then slowly raise neck and try to touch head to the folded knees. Wind liberating Pose or Pavanmuktasana stretches your entire back especially the upper back.

  3. Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana to Stretch Your Back and Provide Relief from Back Pain

    Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana to Stretch Your Back and Provide Relief from Back Pain

    Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched back and place your hands under your shoulder with palms touching the floor. Keep your elbows and hands close to your body and toes spread out with upper part of the feet touching the floor.

    Then, press your body and hands on the floor to straighten your arms and raise your head and upper body while keeping the shoulders firm. Hold for a few seconds and come back to the original position. By doing Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana, your body forms a curve on the outer side, which helps to strengthen the spine and prevent back pain .

  4. Locust Pose or Shalabhasana for Lower Back Pain Relief

    Locust Pose or Shalabhasana for Lower Back Pain Relief

    Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched back and place your hands besides your hips with palms touching the floor and rest your chin on the floor.
    Slowly raise your legs from the waist, without bending the knees and stretch the toes outwards. Hold for few seconds and then release.

    Locus Pose or Shalabhasana strengthens the lower back muscles and improves the flexibility of the spine.

  5. Cat Pose or Marjariasana to Loosen up the Spine and Get Relief from Back Pain

    Cat Pose or Marjariasana to Loosen up the Spine and Get Relief from Back Pain

    Attain the position like that of a cat; on your fours. Keep your chest and back portion above but parallel to the floor; hands kept straight, rested on the wrist and palms on the floor. Similarly, the thighs are parallel to the hands and knees rested on the floor with legs folded backwards, parallel to the floor.

    Initially, remain in the original position with back naturally curved when being on your fours. Then slowly round your back to form a curve upwards, just like a cat. Breathe normally and come back to the original position. Cat pose or Marjarisana helps loosen up the spine muscles, improves flexibility of the back muscles, and provides relief from back pain.

  6. Back Stretches to Get Relief From Manage Back Pain Effectively

    These improve flexibility and stretch the muscles of the spine; improve circulation and are useful for sciatica.

    • Stand erect with heels together. Take both hands above head and join them as 'Namaste posture' and then interlock the fingers, palms facing upwards. Give a gentle stretch to the hands in upward direction, while inhaling and exhaling freely.
    • Next, maintaining the outstretched hand posture, bend towards the left from the waist and come back to original position. Perform the same on the right.
    • Lie on your back with legs and hands freely stretched out. Relax yourself and breathe freely. Raise your hands over your head; keep them straight with fingers pointing outwards. Similarly keep your legs straight and toes pointing outwards. Give a gentle stretch to your back by pulling the hands in the upward direction and the legs in the downward direction. Hold this position for few seconds and release.

    While performing yoga poses for back pain, it is important to freely breathe in and out. Due to back pain, these poses may be difficult to perform as given in classical forms. It is advisable to begin slowly and perform whatever is comfortable without hurting your back. As your back condition improves you can slowly progress. Yoga is a way of life and the longer you practice, richer are the benefits.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: December 4, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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