10 Simple And Effective Exercises In Yoga For Back Pain
Back pain is a debilitating feeling that we all have experienced some time or the other for variable reasons. Most of us neglect it, in the beginning, hoping it will go away on its own, and many times it does. But, often a simple back pain can develop into a chronic condition and the person concerned will have a constant backache that just won’t go away. Chronic back pain is one of the most common conditions plaguing people across age groups today. It is very difficult to specify the exact reasons that can cause back pain. It can happen for various reasons – even an extra soft or sagging mattress can give you severe back pain. However, if your back pain does not seem to go away despite simple lifestyle changes, chances are you have a more serious problem than just an unsupportive mattress. Common reasons for severe back pain are ligament or muscle pull, a degenerating vertebral disc, irritated or inflamed nerve roots that run from the lower back to the legs, strained back muscles, and poor posture during sitting, standing or sleeping. Our back constitutes of the spine, and muscles and ligaments that protect it. The spine itself is made of flat little bones called vertebrae, and cushion like cartilage called intervertebral disk fill up the gaps between the vertebral bones. The intervertebral disks act as shock absorbers. Nonetheless, due to poor posture or injury or inflammation, the vertebral disks may undergo serious damage. People who are overweight are usually at a greater risk of back pain because the excessive weight they carry around the abdominal region leads to poor physical posture. Pregnant women too are at a risk because of the changes in their bone structure during pregnancy. People who have weak bones, or are suffering from conditions like osteoporosis (brittle bones) and fibromyalgia (muscle pain and tenderness throughout the body) are likely to experience frequent back pain. However, back pain can affect anybody and everybody at any time for reasons beyond those mentioned above. When your back pain has stayed on for more than three to four days and painkillers don’t seem to help, it is advisable that you see a doctor. It is very likely that your doctor along with prescribing medications will also ask you to start physiotherapy, which is not the same as regular exercise. While any kind of exercise is good for your body, if you have back pain, lifting weights or movements that require good posture may cause more damage than good. Physiotherapy is designed to target specific trouble areas to alleviate pain and reduce muscle tension. Research has established that regular practice of yoga is also highly beneficial in the management of back pain. Among the several benefits of yoga connected to both the mind and body, it helps reduce pain while strengthening your body. Described below are ten such yoga postures that can effectively alleviate back pain and keep it away for good. Effective yoga postures for back pain Before you begin with any kind of yoga exercise, spend at least ten minutes calming yourself down. Yoga is more than just exercise as it works on various levels of your faculties. So, use this opportunity to attune yourself with your surroundings. Choose a quiet place where you feel a sense of wellbeing and begin by meditating for ten minutes. Focus on the positive energy flow through your body while controlling your breathing to let it become sustained and uniform. Calming yourself down is of utmost importance. Yoga works best when you are in a peaceful frame of mind. Also, always use a yoga mat. 1. Lengthening of spine Seat yourself down in a comfortable position. Try to avoid the bed. Sit on the floor with the mat instead. Your back needs to be absolutely straight at this point and your shoulders need to be relaxed. Slowly raise your arms and join them over your head. Breathing in, stretch out your arms as far as you can. Hold the posture for about ten seconds, and gradually relax your body. You should feel your spine stretching along its length when you do this exercise. Do at least twenty repetitions of this. 2. Downward Dog Stand on your feet with your legs slightly apart. Now slowly bend forward and place your palms on the ground. Using your palms position yourself such that your body is bent at the hips and makes a 60 degree to the ground. Then raise your hips as high as possible. Your body should form a reverse V. You should be able to feel a gentle stretch warming your muscles. Hold this position for five seconds and return to your original position. Do this move at least fifteen times. 3. Stretching the spine forward and backwards Starting from a relaxed position, stretch out your arms in front of you and interlock your fingers. This will provide support. Your arms should be absolutely straight and parallel to each other. Now exhale and try to stretch out your hands as far as possible without actually moving from your place. You should be able to feel a strong pull in your spine. Inhale and return to your original position. Now place your hands on the ground or your mat and push your chest up. The first half of the exercise stretches your spine in the forward direction while the second part in the backwards direction. With the first three movements, you will provide a well-rounded stretching session to your spine. It is now ready for the more complicated movements that follow. 4. Spine twisting Sit in a relaxed position. Bring your right leg up and place your foot on the floor, such that the back of your knee forms a 120-degree angle to the floor. Bring your left leg and tuck it under your right thigh. Now place your left arm on your right knee and twist your torso to the right as far as possible. Your back should be absolutely straight and you should be able to feel your back and spine stretching. Repeat the same movement on the opposite side. Do at least ten repetitions of this. 5. Bending with fists in front Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly and gently bend down over your legs. Keep bending until your stomach touches the top of your thigh. Lock your arms in front of your legs and relax your body. Now pull your tummy in and breathe in and breathe out. You should feel your back as well as abdomen working. This move also helps burn belly fat. Do a minimum of fifteen repetitions of this. 6. Spine stretching For this exercise, continue with your hands joined above your head. Raise them up and stretch them out. Slowly and gently, breath out and turn your torso to the right. Tuck your tummy in and stretch as far as you can. Hold this position for about ten seconds. Then return to your original position, and inhale. After exhaling, repeat the same movement on the opposite side. This completes one count. You will have to do at least twenty counts of this exercise to make it effective. 7. Pigeon pose Start with the Downward Dog pose. Now lower your body to fold your right leg inwards from under your stomach so that your right knee is aligned to your right hand and the right foot is pointing outwards from under your left palm. Stretch out your left knee behind you. Now, while pressing your palms into the ground push your chest out in front, curving your back inwards. Pull your stomach muscles to your spine and hold the pose for ten seconds. Return to your original position. Repeat this exercise for fifteen counts. 8. Wall plank Stand on your feet in front of a wall with your legs hip width apart. Position yourself at one arm’s distance from the wall. Now stretch out the arms in front of you and place your palms on the wall. Slowly bend down so that you are facing the floor. Your body should be forming a 90-degree angle to the wall and the floor. Now push your hips back as hard as you can without actually moving from your position. Your back may start to hurt at this point, but there is nothing to worry. Hold this pose for thirty seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. Do this exercise for at least five counts and increase the count gradually. 9. Child’s pose Kneel down and place your palms flat on the ground in front of you. Then slowly supporting yourself on your palms and knees, bring your hips down so that it touches the back of your ankle. Pull yourself back as far as you can, all the while keeping your arms stretched out in front of you with your palms on the floor. You should be able to feel your back working, and hold this position for at least a minimum of ten seconds. Then slowly return to your original position. Do fifteen repetitions of this exercise. 10. Back lifts Again, lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Then slowly bring them to your side such that your elbows face the ceiling and your palms are pressing down on the ground. Pull your arms as close to your chest as possible. Now gently, lift your torso pushing the palms into the ground. Your thighs and legs should not leave the ground at any point. Stretch your back as much as you can, and hold this position for at least ten seconds. Then gradually return to your original position. Repeat this exercise for fifteen times. These yoga moves will not only help relieve your back pain but also condition your spine, back muscles and stomach muscles. These exercises will also improve your posture. A regular yoga routine will keep you fit and reduce chances of your back pain relapsing. In case you are suffering from severe back pain, it is recommended that you consult a doctor before beginning practice of these postures. Pregnant women should not practice any of these postures during the gestation period. People with slipped disc or other chronic medical problems are advised to seek the counsel of their physician and a yoga teacher for proper guidance. Download the Grow Fit app on Google Play or App Store today for a free consultation with our specialists.
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