Almost 1 in 10 of us will experience back pain at some point during our adult life. For some it is mild and others it can be completely debilitating. There are various approaches to managing back pain ranging from pain killers of the conventional type to herbal treatments, to physiotherapy based exercises or yoga. A short session of yoga daily, in addition to some chiropractic treatment to reduce back pain.
Back pain is commonly caused by weak abdominal muscles and so yoga for back pain can be very beneficial, keeping the spine supple and strong whilst improving the stomach muscles. There are a few yoga exercises that can prove particularly beneficial, such as the yoga sit up. This exercise involves laying in the traditional sit up position with knees bent and rising the head only until the abdominal, muscles begin to tighten, hold this for 3 seconds (extending to 10 seconds as the muscle tone improves) then gradually lowering back to the ground. The yoga sit up is similar to a crunch, the main difference being the isometric hold.
The bridge pose is another good exercise as it strengthens both the spine and the abdomen. To complete the bridge pose, lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Resting our arms at your sides and keeping your head and shoulders flat on the ground, raise your bottom and lower back off the ground. Your body should make a ramp shape, with your head and shoulders as the base and your knees as the top. Hold this pose for a few seconds, start with three seconds and use the same progression as with the yoga sit ups.
For lower back pain, the knee to chest or the lower back press exercises seem to be very helpful. They are both relatively easy and efficient at giving relief quickly.
All yoga should be ended in the 5 minute complete relaxation pose known as the corpse pose. This involves simply lying flat on the back for approximately five minutes, with legs and arms gentle, but not excessively, spread apart allowing all muscles to gently relax. If this is painful a small rolled up towel of cushion can be placed under the knees to enable the body to rest comfortably.
Other simple stretches will ensure the back muscles do not remain knotted for long periods of time. The first one is done by bringing the chin down to the chest-it may seem insignificant but if done carefully and slowly actually stretches out the whole length of the spine. Move on to rotate the shoulders loosening up the upper back. This is very simple and can be done several times a day from a sitting position.
Before starting a new exercise regime it is important to speak to a professional first. All yoga exercises for back pain should be taught by someone professionally trained in yoga. Many of the poses can then comfortably be adapted to meet individual needs or requirements. Yoga is well know for restoring good posture and muscle tone which will also improve the body’s alignment, giving relief to back pain suffers.