Lower back pain is a common complaint.
In fact, 82% of adults report experiencing debilitating back pain on at least one occasion in their lives. Causes of low back pain can be due to injury, repetitive motion, poor posture, weak abdominal muscles, or simply aging in general.
Overtime, discs between vertebrae can dry, and become increasingly brittle. Discs become more susceptible to issues such as bulge and/or rupture, and put pressure on nerves creating low back pain. A yoga based stretching routine can both prevent and relieve symptoms of low back pain. With your spine and pelvis in better alignment and your muscles lengthened, you can indeed train your back to become more resilient against aging. Likewise, the breathing and postural awareness developed through yoga improves core strength which reduces the stress placed on the spine.
Research suggests that once inflammation and any muscle spasms are under control, getting back to daily functional movement and a basic exercise regimen has a much greater success rate of full recovery than bed rest or restricted movement.
Depending on the severity of your condition or injury, and your health practitioner’s clearance, yoga can be a very impactful part of rehabilitating and maintaining a healthy back.
Here are some yoga poses you will find in a typical yoga class at SNFC to help ease tension and reduce discomfort.
Note: Reduce range of motion or skip posture if you feel any strain or pain in your back. Postures should not restrict flow of breath. If you find yourself holding your breath or having difficulty taking a deep breath, reduce depth or intensity of the stretch or pose. You may also find props such as blocks and straps can serve to help support many poses.
The Daily Dozen
Choose 3 exercises from the daily dozen to perform every day to optimize back health.
Generally, 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps is enough to yield positive gains. For postures, aim to hold for 5 deep breaths. Start easy and gradually build from there.
- Down Dog
- Wag the Tail
- Supine Half Knee to Chest pose
- Recline Hand to Big Toe Pose
- A – Hamstring (on back)
- B – Inner thigh (on back)
- C – Low back twist (on back)
- Supine Pigeon
- Low Lunge
- Extended Side Angle
Remember, informing your yoga instructor of any injuries or limitations on your range of motion before class allows him/her to provide the best modifications for you during class, so that you can be most safe and successful.