Whether it's due to poor posture from sitting at a desk all day, a sudden movement, or incorrect technique while lifting a heavy object. Back pain can appear out of nowhere. And although rest is often the first step in treatment, movement can also help. Here are five yoga poses which can assist with providing relief and reducing stiffness in the back.
Yoga for back pain
The practice of Yoga is over 5,000 years old and has been clinically proven to relieve physical pain, strengthen muscles and joints and also increase positive mental health.
While yoga may not be a good idea if you have severe pain, those with constant aches or occasional soreness, could find relief from the below postures which help to stretch and strengthen the muscles while lengthening the spine and returning the back to its proper alignment.
Researchers are also starting to discover how yoga may assist with reducing pain. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and published in May 2015 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, scientists found that there were significant differences between the brains of those with chronic pain and the brains of regular yoga practitioners.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)
The Downward-Facing Dog strengthens the arms, shoulders and back while also stretching the hamstrings, calves and arches of your feet. It can also help to relieve back pain.
To do this:
- Bend over and place your hands on the floor. Place your hands in alignment under your wrists and your knees under your hips.
- Press into your hands, tuck your toes under, and lift your knees up. Bring your bottom up towards the ceiling.
- Keep a slight bend in your knees and lengthen your spine and tailbone. Keep your heels slightly off the ground.
- Press firmly into your hands. Pay attention to your hip and shoulder placement while keeping a balance between both sides of your body. Keep your head in line with your upper arms or tuck your chin in gently.
Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
This calming pose is a good default pause position. You can use the child’s pose to rest and refocus before continuing to your next pose. It gently stretches your lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles and relaxes your spine, shoulders and neck.
To do this:
- Sit back on your heels with your knees together.
- Bend forward and walk your hands in front of you.
- Rest your forehead softly on the floor.
- Keep your arms extended in front of you or bring your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up.
- Let your upper body fall on into your knees and focus on releasing tension in your back.
Hold the pose for up to 5 minutes. For support, use a blanket under your thighs, torso or forehead.
Seated Half-Spine Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This twisting pose can increase the flexibility in your back, while stretching the shoulders, hips and chest. It can also help relieve tension in the middle of your back.
To do this:
- Sit with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping your feet together and spine erect.
- Pull your left leg towards you and place the heel of your left foot beside the right hip.
- Place your right leg over your left knee.
- Place your left hand on your right knee your right hand behind your lower back.
- Twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over your right shoulder. Keep your spine erect.
- Maintain the pose and continue breathing with long, deep breaths.
- Breathing out, release your right hand first, followed by your waist, then chest, and finally your neck.
- Repeat on the other side.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Snakes are regarded as exceptionally elegant animals because of the way they move. This back-bending pose can help strengthen the back muscles, increase spinal flexibility and stretches the chest, shoulders and abdomen.
To do this:
- Lie on your stomach while placing your hands under your shoulders and keeping your fingers facing forward.
- Pull your arms in tightly to your chest. Keep your elbows close to your body middle.
- Press into your hands and slowly lift your head, chest, and shoulders. You can lift partway, halfway, or all the way up. Keep a slight bend in your elbows. You can let your head drop back to deepen the pose.
- Release back down to your mat on an exhale.
- Bring your arms by your side and rest your head.
- Move your hips from side to side gently in order to release tension from your lower back.
Knees to Chest Pose (Apanasana)
The Knee to Chest Post stretches your body, eases tension in the lower back and reduces hip fat. At the same time, it massages the abdominal organs and improves blood circulation. You can rebalance your energy and relax the mind and body
To do this:
- Lay on your back and extend the legs and arms.
- While exhaling, bring both knees to the chest.
- Pull your knees to your body and lift your upper body from the ground.
- Guide your chin to your knees. Keep your lower and middle back on the ground.
- Gently swing forwards and backwards to massage your back.
Wearing a back support for back pain
Back braces provide targeted compression while boosting circulation and reducing the possibility of further injury. Back supports also promote the activation of core and back muscles to support a healthy posture. The LumboTrain Back Brace works to improve posture and it can be worn during yoga and other types of exercise.
This back support features a new triangular gel pad, with 26 massaging nubs, which effectively soothe the lumbar region. The LumboTrain also features wide hand loops, helping you put on the support with ease and allow for the amount of targeted support to be adjusted.
For assistance selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466.
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