Are you suffering from upper back pain? Many people suffer from this type of pain, and it can be a debilitating condition which may limit your ability to perform daily activities. Thankfully, there are several yoga poses that can help ease the pain and give you relief.
1. Cow Pose
This pose is a gentle and restorative pose that can help to open up the chest, as well as activating core muscle groups that can help with stability. To get into this pose, start in tabletop position on your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are directly in line with your shoulders and your hips are in line with your knees. On an inhale, arch your spine and raise your head and tailbone while pushing your chest forward. Hold the pose for 5 breaths with exhalations. Make sure to keep your spine long throughout the pose.
2. Cat and Cow Pose
This pose combination can be great for gently massaging the spine and aiding mobility. To start, begin in the same position as you would for cow pose – on your hands and knees. On an exhale, arch your spine, rounding your back, and bring your head and tailbone towards each other. Hold for 5 breather and release. On the next inhale, extend your spine, aiming to make your back flat, and raising your head and tailbone as you did before. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat.
3. Sphinx Pose
This pose helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the spine. To get into this pose, start by lying on your stomach. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders and press your palms into the floor. Your elbows should be about shoulder width apart. Slowly, lift your rib cage for the floor allowing your upper spine to stay in a comfortable position. Hold for 3 breaths. Feel the muscles in your upper back reach out and relax as you do this pose.
4. Bow Pose
This pose is an energizing backbend that stretches chest, back, and thighs. It is not recommended for those that suffer from lower back pain. To get into the pose, start by lying on your stomach. Place your hands by your sides and hug your elbows in close to your body. Bend your knees, keeping your heels together and reach to take hold of your ankles. On an exhale, press your feet and ankles into your hands while raising your head and chest off of the floor. Hold the the pose for 5 breaths.
5. Child’s Pose
For those that suffer from chronic upper back pain, child’s pose can be a great pose to relax in. To get into the pose, start on your hands and knees with your hands directly in front of your shoulders and your knees hip width apart. With an exhale, bend your knees and lower your torso towards the ground. Reach your arms out in front of you and allow your forehead to rest on the ground. Hold the position for 5 breaths.
Although these poses may provide some relief from upper back pain, it is important to check with a doctor and/or physical therapist before doing any exercise. Regular practice of yoga can not only help to reduce pain, but can also improve physical function, posture and overall