Back pain is no joke, and the majority of people will suffer from it at least once during their lifetimes. As you age, the risk of developing back pain increases, a result of both changing habits and wear and tear. Fortunately, many doctors believe stretching exercises such as yoga help not only prevent but also relieve back pain. You should always consult with a doctor before beginning any new workout routine, including yoga. Certain poses may aggravate your condition. However, yoga is an excellent habit and is safe for most patients to practice as part of holistic medicine.
Supine Hamstring Stretch
To perform this stretch, rest flat on your back, and loop a belt or a yoga strap around your foot. Hold the strap with both hands as you raise your leg straight into the air. Keep your other leg flat on the ground, and make sure neither knee bends. Hold this pose as long as is comfortable, ideally for one to three minutes, then repeat this stretch with the other leg.
A supine hamstring stretch will directly stretch out your calf and thigh muscles and indirectly help your lower back and pelvis region. Your legs support your back, and it’s important for them to remain limber in order to walk and move properly. Sitting at a desk all day with bent knees does not stretch the back of your legs, and puts stress on your lower back. This and other yoga poses help work out that tension.
This position is similar to the cobra pose. Begin belly down on the floor, and then lift your shoulders and chest off the floor. Rather than putting your hands on the floor, however, align your elbows directly under your shoulders and use your full forearms to stabilize yourself. Hold as long as you can, ideally one to five minutes.
This pose works your chest and abdomen. Your abs play a key role in stabilizing your back, and if they can’t do their job, your back will over compensate and tense up. The sphinx pose loosens your chest and abdomen so they can their work better.
Keeping one leg stretched flat behind you, put the other leg ahead of you and bend it like you’re kneeling on your side. Lean down as far as is comfortable over the folded leg and hold as long as possible. Try to hold the pose for one to three minutes. Repeat with the opposite leg.
The pigeon pose helps to stretch your hips and inner thighs. These areas don’t get as much attention in regular stretches, but they are pivotal in preventing and solving lower back pain. By bending forward, you’re also helping your lower back gain more flexibility.
Legs Up the Wall
This is one of the simplest yoga poses. Rest on the floor with your buttocks against a wall. Keep your legs straight, and spread your feet about hip distance against the wall. Spread your arms to either side and relax. Keep this pose as long as is comfortable, up to fifteen minutes.
During the day, you put your weight on the exact opposite of the areas being pressured in this pose. This position helps your body reorient and relax as overused areas gain time to recover. It’s very simple, but incredibly effective.
Yoga poses can help nearly any part of the body, and since your back is connected to nearly everything, these exercises are especially fitting for holistic medicine. By treating the trouble spots that lead to back pain, you can solve current symptoms and prevent future pain.