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7 Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief

7 Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain Relief

Back pain is one of the most common problems that a large number of people face every day for multiple reasons. This problem is found more prominently among the aged. However, young people are also facing it. Back pain is caused by trouble with any of the components of the back structure, such as ligaments, muscles, tendons, disks, or bones. 

Yoga is one of the best ways to deal with back pain. This is a body-and-mind-based therapy that not only helps in relieving back pain but also reduces stress. Here you will learn how much yoga is beneficial and what poses can play a role in reducing or increasing back pain.

1. Why Is Yoga Beneficial for Back Pain?

As yoga is all about stretching the muscles, it helps you stretch the core and back muscles, which is beneficial for strengthening these muscle areas that might not be worked in the right way otherwise. Yoga is also helpful in preventing weakened and overworked muscles from injury. 

Yoga has been found to be effective for dealing with pain and improving the quality of life. This is revealed by the 2020 study, in which yoga was programmed and customized to each participant’s needs. Yoga, over time, is gaining fame as being a useful way to treat health issues like chronic back pain.

According to a study in 2016, it was found that yoga helps in reducing pain, boosting the mood of people, and improving back function. According to a review published in the International Journal of Yoga, certain types of yoga can help cure neck and back pain in a short period of time by releasing muscle tension that causes pain.

2. Keep It Safe and Effective

Yoga for back pain can be one of the safest and most effective activities if you are doing it carefully. Yoga is most commonly used to relieve back pain in older adults. According to the medical editor of Harvard Special Health Report, Dr. Lauren Elson, yoga helps strengthen and stretch the back muscles and improve their mobility

However, doing yoga for the back can go wrong if it is not done properly and carefully. Despite the numerous benefits, yoga is still a physical activity and can lead to certain injuries. The major reason for facing trouble with yoga exercises is that people do not follow the proper form and speed required to do yoga. 

To do yoga safely and to get the most out of it, you need to create a solid base for movement besides following the proper form, which slowly stretches and lengthens your body. To stay at the safe end, you should not be twisting and extending at the same time. Doing so can lead to compression of the intervertebral joints. Similarly, there are multiple other measures to take to protect your back while doing different yoga exercises. In this respect, you can:

  • Make use of props like bolsters and blocks for additional support.
  • If you cannot reach your toes, make use of a yoga belt by looping it around your feet.
  • Stop doing any movement that is uncomfortable for you.

 

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide: Yoga for Men

3. Is It Okay to Do Yoga with Back Pain?

If you are suffering from back pain, it will be vital to talk with your physician before trying it. Doctors like Dr. Elson, who is the medical editor of Harvard Special Health Report, suggest staying away from yoga if you have back pain, specifically in the case of herniated discs or having a spinal fracture. 

Once you get a green signal from your doctor, you should be telling your yoga instructor about your pain conditions and limitations. Your instructor wi surely be giving you protective modifications in yoga poses or help guides so you can do yoga correctly and without experiencing any trouble with your back. The other option that you can utilize is going to community centers or yoga studios that offer classes designed to help with pain relief.

4. Tips to Maximize Your Gains with Yoga for the Back

Using the following tips while doing yoga, you can maximize your gains and avoid any kind of trouble that you may face while doing yoga. 

4.1. Find a Qualified Teacher


Find a good yoga teacher for great insights and guidance. Having the assistance of a qualified instructor can help get the right answers to your questions during your yoga class. Your instructor will also help you correct your posture while doing any yoga movement, so you can get the most out of it.

4.2. Care for Comfortable Clothing


Wearing the right clothes can help you make all of your yoga moves easy and comfortable for you. Your yoga pants and tops should have moisture-wicking capabilities. Your yoga clothes should also be weather-oriented. So, choose your yoga clothes wisely to stay at ease while practicing different yoga poses.

4.3. Don’t Compare with Others


Yoga is a long journey and there is no point in comparing your progress with others to judge yourself. For inspiration, there are plenty of other things that you can consider for drawing motivation and appreciation, such as your body's capabilities. But you should not beat yourself up if you are not up to their level. Consistent practice of yoga can take you there.

4.4. Always Go Slow


Do not rush things, and keep your pace slow while practicing different yoga poses. Rushing will not only put you at risk of injury, but it will also cause you to become fatigued very quickly. Therefore, stay calm and move slowly to make sustainable progress and prevent injuries.

5. What Yoga Positions are Dangerous for Low Back Pain?

Though yoga is beneficial for dealing with back pain and other issues caused by tense muscles, some of the yoga poses can make back pain worse too. Here are some yoga positions or postures that you should not try if you are dealing with serious back pain.

5.1. Full Wheel Pose


Full-wheel yoga pose is one of the most difficult poses, requiring you to be an intermediate with a high level of strength and flexibility. Even if you have all these things, you should not try this pose if you are facing any sort of back pain. Doing this yoga exercise can put a lot of pressure on the spine and back. To gain a similar stretch, you can instead go for a half-wheel or bridge pose.

5.2. Shoulder Stand Pose


If you have neck issues or back problems, you should definitely avoid the shoulder stand pose. If you have tight shoulders and a weaker core, you can get your lower back compressed or your cervical spine strained. Though performing it properly can help in strengthening the upper body and core, it can put too much pressure on the spine and neck if it is not done properly. 

5.3. Seated Forward Fold


The other yoga pose that you should be avoided while suffering from back pain or disk issues is seated forward fold. This pose requires rounding of the spine, which can pinch your nerves by tilting the vertebrae toward each other. If you want to gain the same benefits that this yoga pose offers, you can try the standing forward fold, which can be done with a flat back.

5.4. Camel Pose


Camel pose is designed to help people stretch out the front side of their bodies, particularly the chest and abdominals, but it also affects the lower back as it puts a lot of pressure on that area. Performing this yoga pose can cause trouble for you if you have lower back issues. 

If you still want to do this yoga pose, you must be providing support for your lower back with your hands to do it without any real damage. 

6. What Yoga Postures Help with Back Pain?

Here are some of the incredible yoga poses that can help you deal with back pain. Here is how these asanas for back pain can be done and how effective they are.

6.1. Child Pose


If you are in search of a gentle yet effective pose for yoga back and neck pain relief, the child pose can do the job. This lengthens and stretches your spine, along with stretching your thighs, hips, and ankles. This pose involves muscles like hamstrings, spinal extensors, rotator cuff, and glutes maximum. 

Execution

  • Sit back on your heels while keeping your knees together.
  • Bend forward and walk with your hands in front of your body.
  • Rest your forehead gently on the ground and keep your arms extended. You can also bring your arms alongside your body while keeping your palms facing up.
  • While doing this pose, you must emphasize releasing tension in your back while your upper body falls heavily on your knees.
  • Remain in this position for 5 minutes.
  • For support under your torso, thighs, or forehead, you can use a blanket or bolster.

6.2. Cat-Cow Pose


The other gentle and accessible pose for backbend stretches and spine mobilization is the cat-cow pose. Practicing this pose will not only help you deal with back pain but will also stretch out your torso, neck, shoulders, and areas like the triceps, gluteus maximus, serratus anterior, erector spinae, and rectus abdominis.

Execution

  • Get on all fours by bringing your shoulders to your wrists and hips over your knees.
  • Distribute your body's weight evenly among the four points.
  • Look up while inhaling and let your head drop down to the mats.
  • Now exhale as you tuck your chin into your chest, bring your navel toward your spine, and arch your spine to the ceiling.
  • Stay focused on releasing and noting the tension in your body. 
  • Do this pose for at least 1 minute.

6.3. Downward Facing Dog


This is one of the traditional yoga poses that is beneficial for back pain relief. Practicing this pose will also benefit you in dealing with sciatica and workout imbalances in your body, besides improving strength. This pose mainly works muscles such as the deltoids, triceps, quadriceps, and gluteus maximus. 

Execution

  • Get on all fours by bringing your shoulders to your wrists and hips over your knees.
  • Press into your hands while tucking your toes under and lifting up your knees.
  • Now bring your sitting bones up towards the ceiling.
  • Make a slight bend in your knees while lengthening your tailbone and spine.
  • Then lift your heels slightly off the ground.
  • Press energetically into your hands.
  • Distribute your body weight evenly on all four points.
  • In the meantime, your head should be in line with your chin tucked in or with your upper arms.
  •  Stay in this position for at least 1 minute.

6.4. Bridge Pose


If you are looking for a yoga pose that is beneficial for relieving back pain and headaches at the same time, doing a bridge pose can be helpful. Besides these benefits, this pose is also helpful when it comes to working on muscles like hamstrings, erector spinae transverse, rectus abdominis, and gluteus muscles at the same time.

Execution

  • Lie on your back on the mat while keeping your knees bent and heels drawn into your sitting bones.
  • Your arms should be resting on your sides, as you can see in the above animation.
  • While you lift your tailbone up, you should be pressing your feet and arms into the floor.
  • Keep your tailbone lifted until your thighs become parallel to the floor.
  • Hold on to this pose for a minute and then slowly release by rolling your spine back to the ground. 
  • Now, drop your knees in together.
  • Relax and take deep breaths in this position.

6.5. Two-Knee Twist Pose


Among the best yoga asanas for back pain, a two-knee twist is found quite helpful when it comes to dealing with stiffness in the back and hips. While performing this pose, you will be working on muscles including, the pectoralis major, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and trapezius.

Execution

  • Lie on your back on the mat with your knees drawn to your chest and extend your arms to the sides.
  • Now lower your legs to the left while keeping your knees as close as possible to each other.
  • You can make use of your left hand to press down on your knees.
  • In this course, keep your neck straight or turn it to any side.
  • In this position, you must be focusing on breathing deeply.
  • Remain in this position for 30 seconds at least and repeat it on the other side.

6.6. Sphinx Pose


Among the gentler backbends that strengthen the spine and buttocks, the sphinx yoga pose is another important movement to do for back pain relief. This movement not only provides relief from back pain but also reduces stress. By doing this movement, you will be working muscles including the erector spinae, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, etc.

Execution

  • Lie on your stomach while keeping your legs extended behind you.
  • Engage the muscles of your thighs, buttocks, and back.
  • Now bring your forearms to the floor with palms facing down while bringing your elbows under your shoulders to get into the starting position.
  • Now slowly lift your head and torso.
  • In addition, you should also be lifting by engaging lower abdominals for supporting your back.
  • Make sure that you're lifting through your spine and out via your head’s crown instead of collapsing into your lower back.
  • While doing this movement, keep your eyes straight and remain active and engaged as you fully relax in this pose.
  • Remain in this position for up to 5 minutes.

6.7. Extended Triangle Pose


Extended triangle pose is also beneficial for dealing with upper back, shoulders, and neck pain and tension. The following steps can help you perform it in the right way and to get the most out of it. 

Execution

  • Start by standing with feet hip-width apart followed by turning your right toe forward and left toe out at a particular angle.
  • Now bring your arms up to make them parallel to the ground with palms facing down.
  • Then reach forward with your right arm to hinge at your right hip.
  • Now lower your right arm while lifting your left arm to the ceiling.
  • In this position turn your gaze in any direction or go for neck rotations by looking up and down.
  • Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds and then go for the other side.

7. Takeaway

Pain in any part of the body can disturb life in plenty of ways. In particular, back pain is most dangerous for people who are required to do tougher jobs. Stretching is one of the best ways to loosen up muscle tension and relieve pain. The above-described yoga poses and the related guide can help you stretch your back muscles in the right way to get rid of the back pain and perform your routine tasks with full efficiency. 

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