Whether you spend the entire day sitting in traffic in a car, hunched over a computer, or lifting heavy objects at work, chronic back pain is an uncomfortable and common ailment. Certainly, the usual remedies like rest, good posture, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help—but yoga is an excellent alternative to keep your back healthy and strong. This may come as a surprise, but certain yoga poses can be incredibly helpful in relieving the stiffness and pain associated with chronic back pain.
Downward Facing Dog
If you have ever taken a yoga class, then you are probably very familiar with the Downward-Facing Dog pose. This pose is an excellent stretch for your back and spine, which will both lengthen and strengthen the muscles in your back. As you hold the pose for a few breaths, your spine will decompress and your back pain should lessen.
The Sphinx Pose is another great yoga position for relieving back pain. It feels like a gentle backbend and it is a great option for people with tight lower backs. It increases flexibility in your spine, but it also offers support to your lower back at the same time. To give your back even more of a stretch, use your arms and lift your chest away from the floor. Hold the pose for a few breaths and then relax.
The Cat-Cow Pose is a fun, gentle stretch for your back. This pose combines two different postures—the Cat and the Cow—and it will help to warm up your spine and stretch your entire back. As you move between the two poses, take your time to feel the sensation that your back is getting from the stretch. This is a great pose to do a few times throughout the day to relieve stiffness and tension in your spine.
Cobra Pose is another great way to ease your lower back pain. This pose will help to strengthen your lower back as well as your spine. When done properly, it can also give your abdominal muscles a gentle stretch. Each time you come in and out of this pose, focus on relaxing your abdominals and elongating your spine. As with any yoga pose, it is important to listen to your body and, if anything hurts or feels uncomfortable, it is best to back out of the pose and come out of it slowly and carefully.
Though traditional medical treatments for chronic back pain certainly help, yoga is an excellent option for those who want to improve their overall strength and flexibility. In addition to the poses mentioned above, there are many other positions for you to explore. All you need is a yoga group or instructor and a few minutes a day to perform these poses—and before you know it, you’ll be experiencing a significant decrease in your chronic back pain.