Find out what are the best yoga poses to reduce backache!
Backache is cited as one of the most common reasons for doctor visits in the United States and is associated with high healthcare costs and reduced productivity.
It seems like we can never win when it comes to fighting backaches and pains. We are aging every day; are too sedentary at our nine-to-fives; too active in our sports or fitness regimes; have poor posture; or have some combination of these.
Muscle and disc pain and strain can come from inactivity, repetitive motion or age (as we age the discs separating our vertebrae get harder and lose suppleness).
So what are the best ways to reduce backache?
The American College of Physicians (ACP) just published new guidelines regarding the treatment of low-back pain. Their study looked at treatment effectiveness and safety for those with low-back pain, and they strongly recommend that most patients begin treatment by applying heat, massage or exercise like yoga or tai chi before taking medications.
So grab a heating pad and try these five yoga poses to reduce your backache:
- Standing Forward Fold (Urdhva Uttanasana)
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Child’s Pose (Balasana)
- Supine Pigeon or Figure Four Pose (Supta Eka Pada Galavasana)
The Best Yoga Poses To Reduce Backache
1. Standing Forward Fold (Urdhva Uttanasana)
In addition to stretching the hamstrings, Standing Forward Fold lengthens the spine and reduces tension in the shoulders.
To try it, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Loosen your knees, and on an exhale, hinge at the waist to fold forward bringing your hands and head toward the floor (they don’t have to touch). Find a comfortable stretch with knees bent or straight but avoid locking them. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths.
2. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
Cat-Cow increases flexibility in the spine, loosens back muscles and stretches the neck.
To try it, start on all fours. In Cat you press your spine to the ceiling, arching your back. In Cow scoop your spine, roll your shoulders back and lift your head. Flow between Cat and Cow (five to ten times) and work to coordinate the movement with your breath.
3. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra is a gentle backbend that strengthens the spine and reduces sciatica symptoms.
To try it, lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders beside your chest and fingers facing forward. Keep your elbows at your sides, and as you inhale, bring your chest upward off the floor. Keep the tops of your feet grounded, draw your shoulders back, and open your chest. Take it slow and only go as far as you feel comfortable. (Don’t do this pose if you are pregnant.)
4. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose elongates the spine and stretches out the hips.
To try it, start on all fours. Stretching your arms out in front of you, sit back brining your glutes toward your heels and your chest toward your thighs. You can spend several breaths here, breathing into and expanding your back body.
5. Supine Pigeon or Figure Four Pose (Supta Eka Pada Galavasana)
This pose is great for opening the hips. Tension in the hips cause lower back pain.
To try it, lie on your back, bend both knees and bring your feet flat on the floor. Raise your right knee and bring the right ankle to your left thigh just above the knee. Flex your foot. Raising your left leg to a ninety degree angle with your shin facing up to the ceiling, thread your hands through and clasp them behind your left thigh. Hold here for ten breaths and switch sides.
Hopefully these yoga poses help to reduce your backache! Take them slow and be mindful of how you and your back are feeling.
Do you have any favorite yoga poses for back pain? Let us know in the comments!