9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

By | May 15, 2018
9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health Achy back? Give yoga a go. Numerous studies have shown the power of the ancient practice, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back soreness and improve function.

According to research published in July 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, yoga may even help reduce the need for pain medication. At the start of the three-month study, in which one group was assigned to physical therapy for their back pain, a second to yoga, and a third to reading about pain management strategies, 70 percent of the subjects were taking medication.

By the end, however, while the number of people taking medication in the reading group stayed the same, only 50 percent of the yoga and physical therapy subjects were still taking it.

While yoga isn’t a good idea if you have severe pain, those with occasional soreness or chronic aches may greatly benefit from certain postures that can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment, says Jennifer Bayliss, a fitness expert in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Yoga’s focus on balance and steadiness encourages your body to develop defenses against the causes of back pain, which include weak abdominal and pelvic muscles, as well lack of flexibility in the hips. When you strengthen these muscles, you improve your posture, which reduces the load on your back and thus reduces the aches you feel. In addition, stretching can increase flexibility by increasing blood flow to tight muscles.

Aching back got you down? You’re not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of Americans report back pain symptoms each year. While there’s a lot you can do in your daily life, from working to strengthen your core to avoid sitting for too long, a daily dose of yoga poses certainly won’t hurt.

Here are 9 poses to help with back pain that you can do anywhere.

1. Downward Facing Dog

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

It’s the most well-known yoga pose out there and for good reason. Downward dog elongates the cervical spine and strengthens the core, hamstrings and lower back. Start on your hands and knees, tuck your toes, lift your hips and bring your heels toward the ground. Hold for five breaths.

2. Upward Facing Dog

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

In addition to being a great chest opener, the upward facing dog helps improve abdominal and backstretch. Starting from the downward facing dog, shift forward to plank pose. Untuck your toes and look up, keeping your knees off the ground. Hold for three breaths.

3. Low Lunge With Backbend

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

This one strengthens and stretches the entire back. Start in a low lunge position, then gently lower your back knee to the ground. Bring your arms up alongside your ears and lean back. To get a neck release in, try interlacing your hands behind your head. Hold for three breaths.

4. Seated Forward Fold

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

Seated forward fold is an intense (and awesome) hamstring stretch, and it’s also great for lengthening your back. Start in an upright seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Walk your hands down your legs until you hit your toes — or not. You’ll still get a great hamstring and back stretch with your palms resting on your shins, so if at any point this starts to feel like too much, back off and stay where it feels like just enough of a stretch. Hold for three breaths.

5. Seated Spinal Twist

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

This one is great for improving posture and spine mobility. Starting in a seated position, bring your left foot outside your right knee. Extend your right arm up, hook your right elbow outside your left knee and look over your left shoulder. Hold for three breaths before repeating on the opposite side.

6. Standing Forward Fold With Clasped Hands

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

To get a great back stretch, increase shoulder mobility and open up your chest, try this variation of standing forward fold. Start in an upright standing position, hinge your hips forward and bring your fingertips toward the ground. Clasp your hands behind you and bring your palms to together, even if that means bending your elbows — it’ll make for a better chest and shoulder opener. Hold for three breaths.

7. Lower Back Clasp

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

This is a gentle backbend that stretches and strengthens the lower back. Start lying face down on your stomach, clasp your hands behind you and lift your chest up off the ground. Again, this stretch is most effective when your palms are clasped together, so try bending your elbows if you can’t get there. Hold for three breaths.

8. Sphinx Pose

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

This stretch is more intense on the back, but it’s great for lengthening the spine and opening up the chest. Start on all fours, then lower your stomach to the ground, bringing your forearms out in front of you and lifting your chest. Drag your body forward a bit to open up the back and chest even more and hold for three breaths.

9. Bow Pose

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9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain Just For Health

 

It’s an intense pose, but bow will help stretches and strengthens the upper back and shoulders to help improve posture and minimizing hunching. Starting face down on your stomach, reach for your heels and lift them up — your back will naturally come with you. Hold for three breaths.

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