Lower back pain can affect your day-to-day life. According to the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine people who started doing Yoga or some form of stretching classes are twice as likely to “cut back on pain medications for their back aches as people who managed symptoms on their own”. Yoga is a highly effective technique to relieve you of your lower back pain. Here are six techniques or exercises.
For severe back pain, it is recommended to consult a medical practitioner
1. Forward Bend
There are many different types of forward bends, each with varying levels of intensity. In bending forward towards our thighs, we are flexing the spine. This both stretches and strengthens the muscles along the spine, shoulder, pelvic girdles, and legs. Abdominal muscles are also strengthened.
- Place your buttocks firmly on the floor
- Extend your legs outwards.
- Lean forward, head facing down.
- Try to reach your feet, with your hands.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths, repeat as needed.
2. Cat and Cow Pose
This helps loosen back muscles and is ideal for relieving you of lower back pain.
- Start by going on all fours.
- Slowly press your spine upwards as you move into the cat pose.
- Make sure your back is arched.
- Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Make sure your shoulder blades are pressed back and your head is lifted.
- Move back and forth between these poses.
- Repeat 10 times.
The child pose helps elongate your back and is a destresser.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you as you are sitting on all fours.
- Sit back and make sure your butt muscles (not touching) are resting just above your heels.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths. Repeat.
This can be a challenging exercise, especially for beginners. It stretches your hip rotators and flexors, which allow for tighter hips that can contribute to lower back pain.
- Start in the downward-facing dog position, making sure your feet are together.
- Bring your left knee forward and turn it out to the left, making sure your left leg is bent and almost perpendicular to your right knee.
- Then lower both of your legs to the ground.
- Keep your right leg extended behind you.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths, and repeat as required.
5. Downward-facing dog
This a great total body stretch that targets the lower muscles that help form your lower back, providing needed support for your spine.
- To do this, start on your hands and knees.
- Make sure your hands are only slightly in front of your shoulders.
- Then press back and raise your knees, away from the floor.
- Focus on lifting that tailbone of yours towards the ceiling.
- For a hamstring stretch, softly push your heels towards the floor.
- Hold this position for 5-10 breaths.
- Repeat 5-7 times
6. Upward-facing dog
This opens your chest, stretches your abdominal muscles and also engages your back.
- Lie flat on the floor, palms facing down – near the middle of your ribs.
- Press the top of your feet into the floor, while drawing your legs together. While doing this, lift your chest off the floor. Make sure you use back strength and not your hands
- Keep legs extended.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat.
Featured photo credit: CureJoy via za.pinterest.com