The back muscles work with abdominal muscles to keep the body upright and mobile. However, because of the stress of everyday life, many individuals tend to overwork or overuse their back muscles, which then leads to back pain. Common symptoms of back pain may include spasms, stiffness, pain, numbness, and sometimes pain in the leg area. The symptom depends on the cause of pain and its severity. One of the most popular alternative back pain treatment is yoga.
In the past, the primary treatment for chronic back pain was rest and the use of painkillers. Today, doctors are encouraging their patients to manage pain and illness by partaking in activities like yoga. Some research even suggests that yoga is one of the most effective treatments for body pain. Yoga has gone from a spiritual discipline practiced by many in the East, to a more mainstream exercise routine that is taught in many fitness gyms around the world. Yoga works by building strength, improving flexibility, and reducing joint and muscle pain.
Here are five yoga poses that may help to alleviate back pain:
- [Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)](/video/seated-forward-bend
This pose gives a complete stretch to the neck, the back, the hamstrings and the calves. At the same time, it directs your attention inward. You stimulate the entire nervous system and learn to find stillness and relaxation during a period of effort, or even discomfort, when doing this stretching exercise.
- Cat Pose (Marjariasana)
This is a gentle flow between two poses that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. It stretches the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. The spinal movement of the two poses stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This pose increases the elasticity of the spine, tones the spinal nerves and improves the functioning of the spinal cord. It also stretches the muscles on one side of the body while compressing the muscles on the other side. It also relieves back pain and stiffness between the vertebrae and is useful for a slipped disc.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This pose is best known for its ability to increase the flexibility of the spine. It stretches the chest while strengthening the spine and shoulders. Cobra pose is also an energizing backbend that may also help reduce stress and fatigue.
- Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This pose is one of only a few completely stationary poses in yoga. It requires no movement, or balance, and can be soothing for achy back muscles. Child’s pose is a great pose for cooling down after your yoga routine, or as a warm-up to focus your mind. It should be noted that not all forms of yoga can be used for back pain relief.
When the back is injured or hurting, slow-paced, gentle stretches and poses should be practiced. Some yoga poses and stretches may aggravate back pain and lead to serious injuries, therefore, always consult your doctor prior to performing any yoga poses. Certain injuries to the wrist, back, and ankles may also prevent some individuals from practicing yoga postures and positions. Yoga should be practiced with care and precaution, especially for those who suffer chronic back pain.