Yoga Your Back Pain Away!

Many people will experience back pain at some time in their life. The traditional treatment for low back pain is increasing core strength to increase flexibility on tight muscles, provide better stabilization of the spine and exercises to correct the muscle imbalances. The muscles surrounding the spine provide stability and support of the spinal column. All the muscles between the hips and shoulders are included. These muscles are referred to as the core muscles. Back pain can be caused by muscle imbalances of any of these muscles.

You will hear many people complain of back pain occasionally. About 75% to 85% of the people experience back pain at some point of time in their life. The most common area of back pain is the lumbar region of the spine. This is the region that bears most of the body weight. Sudden twisting and bending can cause injury to the back. Back pain also occurs when the muscles get stiff because of poor posture. Back exercise stretches the stiff muscles to provide relief.

Make your back work for you.

No matter, what our jobs, all use our back every day when we’re sitting, standing, lifting, even lying down. A back injury can result in pain, disability, and even loss of income if it prevents us from doing our jobs. Together with proper lifting techniques, back exercises are one of the most important things each of us can do to strengthen our backs and help protect them from accidental injury and sports injuries. The right back exercises, when done on a daily basis, can help you to keep your back fitness at the best possible level.

Remember, though, if you are experiencing back pain of any sort, check with a healthcare professional before doing these or any exercises. Do the exercise according to the medical advice rendered by that professional. Sciatica is the disease which affects nerves of the back. To control the back pain due to the nerve disease you must undergo strength training in physiotherapy.

If you understand the concepts of how backs get injured by bad back habits you can easily tell if you are moving in healthy ways, if an exercise will help or harm, or if you’re doing a good exercise in a bad way. Most people spend their lives doing activities with poor posture that rounds their lower back. They sit, stand, walk, and exercise round-shouldered and round-backed. This shortens chest and shoulder muscles in front, and over stretches and weakens your back. Between your back bones (vertebrae) above and below the disc.

Yoga back strengthening exercises

Yoga asanas are one of the better ways to relieve yourself from back pain and lead a healthy life. It is important to ensure that asanas are worked within a range of motion, so as not to further strain the painful back. In case you experience pain while doing some poses, stop immediately. Avoid sudden movements and jerks when performing back exercises, even though it maybe hard to perform the steps in a slow and controlled motion.

People suffering from lower back problems face various problems while working out. It is important to get into an exercise routine gradually and build muscle power. Always performing back exercises after consulting your trainer. It is also important to understand that back pain doesn’t develop overnight and hence restoration of the back will also take time.

If the back of the thighs are weaker than the front of the thighs, there will be uneven pull on the front of the spinal column. This muscle imbalance can be caused from long periods of standing or sitting, improper strength training or running, this curve or sway back of the vertebral column can be painful.

There are more effective ways to integrate core strength training exercises into every exercise you perform, than by doing traditional crunches. One way is to use effective breathing. The following “Yoga” style breathing technique can be added to any strength training exercise.

While performing a leg press, inhale during the bending part and exhale during the press. This deep breathing technique needs to be incorporated with the resistance or force of the exercise. You will utilize the diaphragm muscles which help to provide spinal support and lengthen the spine, by breathing from your diaphragm instead of shallow upper chest breathing.

Yoga can help relieve lower back pain

Person on back stretching

If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from lower back pain, then you need to know that yoga can do wonders for you. When it comes to relieving lower back pain, yoga provides more long term relief than any back pills that your doctor can give you. The fact is, pills only serve to mask the problem by providing temporary relief of the pain, but the problem that is causing much of the pain is still there. Yoga will strengthen the muscles that support your back and improve flexibility thus greatly reducing the chances of future attacks.

Yoga asanas will increase flexibility giving your back a greater range of motion. Always maintain good posture, this means sit up straight, stand straight and do not slouch or lean forward. Good posture is essential to any good exercise program.

Concentrate on the abdominal muscles

These muscles play a major part in giving your lower back support and the stronger they are, the more relief for your back. Also, important is to do poses that are designed to specifically strengthen the lower back muscles themselves. You will best benefit from working each muscle group 2 to 3 times per week.

Remember that while yoga is great for strengthening the targeted muscles being worked, there should never be any pain involved. Some discomfort should be present in the muscles being worked while performing the exercises for them, but should subside very shortly after completion of the exercise. If there is any pain during the exercises or if discomfort persists for some time after, it is a sign that something is wrong and you should stop immediately.

Here you really want to concentrate on stretching your hamstrings which are the muscles in the back of your upper legs. The looser your hamstring muscles are, the better range of motion your back will have as flexible hamstring muscles do not put the strain on your lower back that tight ones do.

Back stretches need to be performed softly. You should treat your back gently and not subject it jerky and violent movement. The exercise routine that you follow should start gently, and gradually build over a period of a few weeks. You could cause more harm than good, if you do not follow expert advice in matters of back exercise.

Warm up your body before you embark on the stretching routine. Yoga stretches the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the area surrounding the back. The muscles and tendons associated with the spine are designed for movement. Hence, they need to be stretched to perform optimally. The hamstring muscles are an important factor in back pain problems. Most people with back pain have stiff hamstring muscles.

Lower back pain away

Traditionally, the treatment for lower back pain is increasing core strength to increase flexibility on muscles that are tight, which will provide better stabilization of the spine and exercises to correct the imbalances of the muscles. The muscles that surround the spine will provide stability and support of the spinal column.

Every muscle between the hips and shoulders are included as well, as these muscles are referred to as the core muscles. Back pain can be a result of muscle imbalances caused by any of these core muscles. If the back of your thighs are weaker than the front of your thighs, there will be an uneven pull on the front of your spinal column.

There are some effective ways that you can integrate core strength training asanas into all the yoga you perform, rather than doing just the traditional crunches and sit-ups. One such way is by breathing effectively. Deep breathing will utilize your diaphragm muscles which will help support the spinal column and lengthen the spine, which is great for your lower back and supporting you when you walk or run.

Bridge

Bridge pose

The Bridge lift can also help you to reduce back pain and strengthen the core muscles and lengthen the spine. For the bridge, simply place the feet on a bench or on the floor and scoop the pelvis upward; the rib cage should stay low to reduce the spine muscles irritation. This will relieve stress on the back and focus the muscle contraction into the hamstrings and glutes.
Instead of pressing into your thighs, you should instead reach your tailbone down towards your heels.

Other exercises for lower back pain are the lumbar side stretch, hip flexor stretch, and calf stretches, as all three can help to alleviate pull on your spinal column.

Hip flexor stretch

Deep lunge

When doing a hip flexor stretch, bring one foot forward in a bent knee, 90 degree angles, while your other leg is on the floor behind you with your foot pointed upwards toward the ceiling. The hip flexor stretch will help to open up the muscles of your back on the side of the spine near your hips. You can also squeeze your glutes as well to deepen the stretch with each breath you exhale. You should begin to feel a stretch in your back leg, in the thigh front and the hamstrings on your front leg.

Lumbar side stretch

This stretch will bring your legs wide with your knees bent while you sit or stand. Simply bring one hand down towards your foot on the inside of the thighs and your other hand behind your head. Squeeze the glutes to deepen the stretch with each exhaled breath. You should feel a stretch on the back leg, in the front of the thigh and the hamstrings on the front leg.

Calf stretch

Calf stretch

The stretch opens up the Achilles tendon; the most distant pull on the spine of the body. Place an object under your foot and lean your body weight forward. Keep a fluid breath while holding all stretches for 10-30 seconds. You should feel a stretch behind the knee and shin.

Forward bend

Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. Now slowly bend forward and try to touch your toes with your hands without bending your knees. Your action should be smooth and not jerky. Be careful not to overdo the stretching part. Stop when you feel pain. This exercise stretches your hamstring muscles. Your back pain will improve gradually, as you continue with the exercise. The exercise can also be performed while lying down.

One of the back exercises that gently stretches your back muscles is:

  • lie on your back with knees bent.
  • Slowly raise your left knee to your chest, while pressing your lower back firmly against the floor.
  • Remain in position for 30 seconds.
  • Relax; repeat the exercise with your right knee.
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times for each leg.

Conclusion

Forward bend

While there are no miracle cures for lower back pain, you can make living with a lower back condition much easier to deal with by simply incorporating some Yoga into your life each day. By doing yoga, your core muscles will be able to help you without sacrificing your back. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Let me know your thoughts on this subject. Do you suffer lower back pain like many others. Did Yoga help you overcome this ailment?

Namaste Shane.

 

2 thoughts on “Yoga Your Back Pain Away!”

  1. Hi there. I was just reading your article here and i found it very interesting as i was surprised to learn that Yoga would actually help your back, as it sounds like a bit of an effort sitting upright or doing gymnastics. But having read your explanations on these various positions for Yoga, I can now see how this would work.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hello Kwidzin, 

      Yoga will help with many things especially the back. 

      I hope this has pique your interest to look further into the wonders of yoga. 

      We cannot underestimate the benefits of yoga on body and mind. 

      Namaste Shane.

      Reply

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