Does your back hurt? Mine too, big time.
Try yoga. It’s an ancient practice that emphasizes strength, flexibility and stretching, and it’s very effective when it comes to easing back pain. In fact, a number of recent studies have proven that yoga is better than typical medical treatments when it comes to easing back pain.
If you’re doing yoga for your back pain, the chances are that you’ll be taking a lot less pain medication than you would if you were trying to manage your pain on your own, or even if you were using traditional medical interventions. We’re not saying that yoga is a cure-all for really severe pain, but if you’re occasionally sore or you find you’re constantly achy, you might find that yoga will deliver the flexibility and strength you need to help your sore back.
Certain postures can help lengthen your spine and stretch your muscles.
It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Before you try any new pain management program, you’d be well advised to check with your doctor, but I think these yoga positions will help to ease your pain. They worked for me.
In this position, you’re going to try to look like you’re stretching as if you were a cat.
Get down on all fours, and raise your spine. Hold the position, and then pull your spine inward flexing your shoulder blades and lifting your head. Then, shift your spine into neutral and relax your muscles. This is going to loosen up your muscles and release tension.
Do about ten repetitions, moving through the stretches.
Just a Kid….
This is a position that makes you look like a child that’s resting. It helps you stretch your back, and it’s a phenomenal de-stressor. It’s called the Child’s Pose.
Get down on all fours, and stretch your arms out in front of you. Sit back so that your butt is just above your heels but not touching them. Hold the position for at least five breaths, preferably ten.
You can repeat this as many times as you like – it’s just a good, soothing, stretching exercise, not really designed to work your muscles.
The Downward Dog
This is a classic pose, and a huge stretch. You know that position that puppies use when they’re trying to invite other dogs to come and play with them? That’s what you’re going to try to do.
Get down on your hands and knees, and raise your knees up. Pretend that you want to make your tail bone hit the ceiling. Stretch your legs out behind you and push your heels toward the floor.
Remember to breathe, and hold the pose for five to ten breaths. Repeat the pose five times.
You can’t do better than this for strengthening the muscles in your legs and back, as well as along your torso.
To do the triangle, you’re going to start by standing with your feet together. Then, lunge with your left foot back about three feet, and at the same time, turn your left foot out about 45 degrees. Move your chest to the side, and stretch your right arm in the direction of the ground. Keep your left arm ceiling-ward, and try to touch the ground with your right arm.
Don’t overdo it. This is actually a pretty advanced move. Repeat the movements on the other side.
This is a bit of a challenging position, so if you’re a yoga newbie, take it easy. Seriously. It’s called the pigeon pose, and what it does is loosen up your hips and relieve your back pain.
OK, we warned you!
Remember the Downward Dog? Assume that position, and then put your feet together. Bring your left knee frontward, and turn the knee to the outside so that it’s almost perpendicular to your right knee. Now lower both legs groundward.
Want to take it to the next level? Bring your back foot off the ground, and raise it toward your back.
Hold the position for up to ten breaths, and then repeat on the other side.
Yes, I know that was hard.
These yoga poses are specifically designed to relax you and ease pressure on your back. You don’t have to do a lot of repetitions, and you don’t really have to do them often. The repetitions recommended are just guidelines – do as many or as few as make you comfortable.