Back pain is one of the most common problems that could affect people of any age, although it is more common in older people due to onset of degenerative disk diseases. Wrong posture, strain, injury, muscular tension, damaged disks, certain medical conditions like osteoporosis can cause back pain.
It is generally seen in people with sedentary lifestyle, those who are obese or overweight, have arthritis, or not physically fit. Back pain is also common in pregnant women.
A nagging back pain can be uncomfortable and can affect your quality of life. While there are various medications, home remedies like applying heat or ice and other therapies that could bring relief, many health experts and scientific studies strongly recommend Yoga for relieving back pain. Yoga is known to be effective in managing pain and is one of the options that American College of Physicians recommends for first-line treatment of chronic lower back pain.
With its set of asanas, Yoga helps to build muscle mass and is also helpful in maintaining muscle strength that protects one from conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and back pain.
Yoga asanas help in flow of blood and oxygen to the areas of cartilage not often used and help bring nutrients which helps to prevent conditions like arthritis and chronic pain.
This prevents them from wear and tear. Numerous studies have shown that asana, meditation or a combination of the two reduced pain in people with arthritis, Carpel Tunnel syndrome, back pain and other chronic conditions.
Here are asanas that one must do every day to bring relief in back pain:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Adho mukha svanasana is an excellent workout for several muscles in your body and is considered good for your bones. It also tones your core and builds strength in the body.
It strengthens the muscles around calves, back, hamstrings, shoulders etc. It works out the back of your legs and improves blood flow. Apart from being beneficial in relieving your back pain, it also helps alleviate stress and rejuvenates your mental health.
Steps to do Adho mukha svanasana
To do the asana, start with the table top position.
Lift your knees upwards and stretch your arms forward keeping the palms inward.
Lift the knees so that your hip can go as high as it can.
The body should resemble an inverted V.
Shishuasana (Child’s Pose)
Shishuasana or Child’ pose relaxes your lower back and aligns your spine by gently stretching it. It is very effective in releasing stress from the body as well and can enhance blood circulation to your head.
Steps to do Child’s Pose
Begin the pose by sitting on your heels
Keep your hips on your heels
Now your hands should be on the floor and palms should face up
Bend forward and bring your forehead towards the floor
Your thighs should gently press your chest
Hold the position for a while
Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
Kapotasana is very effective in lower back pain as it helps relax back muscles, remove stiffness in shoulders and hips as well. Besides, it improves flexibility of your spine. It also stretches thighs, calf muscles, arms etc. The asana also aids digestion.
Steps to do Kapotasana
Begin with table top position with hands shoulder width apart and knees in line with hands.
Place your right knee between the hands and lay the right leg on the floor on the right side of the shin. Your right foot should be pointing outward to the left.
Keep the left leg behind extended.
Place the palms in line with the right foot.
Press the palms on the floor, straighten your arms and extend your spine, open the shoulders and chest, and look up.
Hold the position for a few seconds.
Return to the original position and repeat with the next side.
Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
Trikonasana means forming a perfect triangle with your body. It is a very powerful pose that strengthens ankles, knees and other joints. It stretches neck, spine, legs making the body flexible. It also helps in improving balance and stability. The asana is good for your digestive health and alleviates stress.
Steps to do Trikonasana
Stand straight with your feet apart (around 3 feet)
Inhale and bring your arms sideways to the shoulder level
Move your right foot towards the right side
Exhale and bend the body to the right with the right hand towards the floor and left hand upwards
The left arm should be in straight line with the right one
Hold this posture for a couple of seconds
Repeat from the other side
Bitilasana Marjaryasana (Cat and Cow pose)
Bitilasana Marjaryasana or the Cat Cow Pose is an excellent workout for your back as it helps remove stiffness from the area. The pose is also considered good for digestion and relieves menstrual cramps. It also helps alleviate stress.
Steps to do Bitilasana Marjaryasana
Come on your knees and place the palms on the floor
The knees should be under the hips and the hands should be positioned directly under the shoulders
Inhale and raise the neck while taking the spine inwards and throwing out tail bone
Exhale and lower the face bringing the chin down
Move spine inwards and outwards with the movement of breath
Practice this for 10-12 rounds
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Uttanasana is a very good pose for keeping the spine strong and relieve tension from it. Besides it also provides good stretch to spine, neck and back. The asana helps in alleviating stress, anxiety and fatigue and is extremely rejuvenating. Uttanasana also stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves.
Steps to do Uttanasana
Stand in mountain pose.
Stand with your feet apart
Raise your arms and slowly bend forward
Bring your fingertips to the floor
Release through the head and breathe
Slowly come back to the original position
Eating habits & precautions
Apart from these yoga asanas, it is advisable to make certain lifestyle changes that could help with your back pain.
1. There are certain kind of food that can strengthen your joint and bones while there are foods like sugary treats, refined grains or red meat that can lead to inflammation and aggravate your problem. If you want to get relief from back pain, it is advised to consume lean proteins, whole grains, green and leafy vegetables, fruits. Make sure to include healthy fats in your diet like ghee, avocado and salmon to build strong muscles, bones and soft tissues in your back. Calcium, Vitamin D, Phosphorous must be included in the diet.
2. Many people who work on laptops or are working from home tend to slouch forward putting pressure on their lower back. This is a very dangerous posture for your back. You must make sure to move your head and neck at regular intervals.
3. If you have back pain, you should avoid sleeping on your back or belly and instead sleep on your side. You can also use soft pillows to position yourself in a way that doesn’t result in back pain.
4. People who are in sedentary desk jobs often do not realise that sitting for long hours could be affecting the health of their back. They must also choose a better chair that supports their back.
5. If you are overweight and not doing any exercises or not active, there are chances you may suffer from back pain. You can choose any physical activity from walking, swimming or biking, whatever is comfortable to you.
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