Back pain is very common and the causes can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the most important factors in today’s society include a higher level of obesity in the Western world and the impact of the digital age, with people slouching over their desks at work or at home on their computer or a telephone intelligent.
The good news is that there are ways to decrease and get rid of chronic or temporary back pain, by improving your posture and strengthening your back. And yoga is one of the best tools around tackling the problem …
The causes of back pain
There are a number of possible causes of back pain, and it is, unfortunately, a common problem. The back is a complex structure, made of bones, muscles, nerves and joints, which can make it difficult to determine the specific causes. Back pain can be a symptom of a muscle or ligament strain, which can be caused by repeated heavy lifting or a sudden movement that shakes a muscle or ligament in a way that it should not. It could be caused by stooping for a long time, lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling heavy objects, overuse muscle sports injuries, or sitting hunched over a desk or computer all day.
There are certain factors that can make some people at higher risk than others for chronic back pain. Excess weight can put pressure on the spine, which can cause back pain, especially if you do not have a strong core or strong back muscles to support the weight. Smoking can also cause problems if it leads to tissue damage, linked to a lifestyle less healthy than the average non-smoker. The extra weight of carrying a baby in your arms, while pregnant places additional strain on the back, which can also cause back pain. This often goes away after childbirth, but it can sometimes persist as a chronic problem in the long term. Even if stressed or depressed It can cause back pain, although it is not fully understood scientifically how the two are related. The theory is that psychological and emotional factors cause some kind of physical change in the body that results in back pain.
The causes of lower back pain
There are a number of potential causes of lower back pain, including tearing discs, vertebral fractures caused by osteoporosis ; spinal stenosis , which is usually caused by bone spurs as a result of osteoporosis; and scoliosis , which is an abnormal curvature of the spine. In some cases, lower back pain can be caused by diabetes or a pinched nerve. The cause of low back pain can be difficult to diagnose to doctors, and it can be of genetic origin.
How Posture Effects of Back Pain
Maintaining a correct, healthy posture helps your spine stay strong and stable. When you stay behind or sit hunched over your desk at work, the muscles and ligaments of your back have to strain to maintain balance, which can lead to back pain and chronic back pain sometimes. Your back should have three natural, subtle curves – an inward or forward bend in the neck; a curve outwards or backwards around the upper rear part; and an inward curve around the lower back.
If you experience back pain, it could be the result of poor posture, and could be easily fixed if you spend some time training your body to stand up and sit in a healthier position.
Benefits of yoga for back pain
If you already suffer from back pain or a back injury, be sure to consult your doctor before practicing yoga or any exercise, be it at home or in a studio or gym.
Yoga can be very beneficial for people suffering from back pain or a weak back, as it strengthens the muscles of the back and the core that protect and support the spine. It also improves posture, which decreases the pressure on the spine. If you already suffer from back pain, there are certain postures that are particularly beneficial to help relieve pain, as well as strengthening the muscles of the back and core, and improve posture, to prevent or minimize the risk of pain or injuries in the future …
This is a good one to start with, as it slowly and gently warms up and stretches the back and abs, loosening any tension in the muscles.
Start at the table position on the mat. If your knees are sensitive, you can put an additional blanket or mat underneath them. Make sure that your knees are directly below your hips, and the hip-distant distance, and you have your hands directly under your shoulders, your shoulders, the distance apart.
In one inhalation, release the belly downward, arching the back and raising the coccyx to the sky. If you feel comfortable and balanced, you can alo raise your face to the sky, looking up to increase the stretch. In an exhalation, the back part, dropping the head and coccyx towards the ground. Repeat with your own breathing for at least 5 breaths.
Wide-Legged forward flex
This posture decompresses the spine, so it is a beneficial being to practice if you have a tight back. Have a yoga block in front of you, in case you need it. Start standing with wide legs in an inverted ‘V’, toes slightly bent inward towards each other, with heels slightly turned outwards. Place your hands on your hips and lift your clavicle and chest up to lengthen your torso in an inhalation. As you exhale, slowly bend forward, keeping your core strong and engaged, and your back straight. Once you are halfway down, release your hands from your hips and place them in the signature block in front of you, or directly on the mat. Keep your trunk and back strong and on each exhalation,
If you want to strengthen your back muscles, this is the perfect pose to start with. It uses muscles of the back to lift the upper part of the body, essentially working those muscles of the back in their way of working the abdominal muscles during crunches or abdominals.
Begin lying on your belly and then place the lower arms (elbows) of hands on the sides of the carpet. The elbows should be in nice and tightly next to your shoulders. Try to lengthen the coccyx to the heels and turn outside the thighs towards the mat, the extension of the lumbar area. Use the back to lift the body up, stretching the arms. You should not put too much weight on the hands to lift – they are only there to guide and support the posture. You can hold your posture for a few breaths, or practice dynamically lifting an inhale and gently release it on an exhale for a few rounds of breathing.
Lobster Pose / Bow Pose
If you are comfortable with the sphinx, these are also strengthening back poses that are a bit more difficult. pose the lobster is the next pose to pass next, and if you master that, you can try bow attitude, which requires a little more flexibility throughout the body and is great for posture.
For lobster attitude, start on your belly, with your hands either where they were for sphinx pose, or stretch out in front of you, or stretch back towards your legs. Exhale all the air from your lungs as possible, and then in a deep inhalation, raise your arms, torso and legs off the canvas. The more you can lift, the better, but not jerk or overload your back to do this. Take it nice and slow and lift a little higher in each inhalation. You can rock back and forth to help in the elevator. Try to stay here for at least 3 long breaths.
For bow attitude, start on your belly one and grab your ankles. Make sure that your knees are not wider than your hips and when lifting, maintain control that they do not deviate to the outside. In one inhalation, lift your head, chest and thighs up off the canvas. Again, you can swing gently from front to back and try to lift a little more of the mat with each inhalation, remembering to breathe while holding the posture.
You should always practice the child pose after lobsters or bow attitude, since it releases tension in the back and relaxes the muscles, decompression of the spine. This is a very restorative pose that is ideal for relieving the back and neck.
Begin at the table position with your wrists below the shoulders and knees below the hips. As you exhale, sit on your heels. The torso should rest on the thighs, or in the middle for children’s wide-angle pose. Make sure your arms are stretched out in front of you to create more space along the back and sides of your body and rest your forehead on the mat. You should feel a good stretch along your back and between your shoulder blades. Stay here for a couple of breaths, which allows you to relax in the pose. You can then send your arms backwards, on either side of your body to rest and relax your shoulders.
Puppy extended pose
This posture works the muscles of the back and spine while opening and stretching the muscles of the hip, the psoas and the sacrum at the same time, which ultimately helps to maintain a strong and healthy back. Increases blood flow to the head and opens blockages, increasing blood flow to the back. Extended puppy pose is a mix between the child and dog pose looking down .
Start at the table position again and then walk your hands forward, keeping the coccyx pointing towards the sky. When you feel a stretch in your back and arms, you have gone too far and can rest in the posture for a few breaths. There should be a slight curve in the lower back. When inhaling, imagine oxygen moving along the spine and torso, in the abdomen.
This is a restorative yoga pose particularly beneficial for the back – especially in the lower back. In addition to helping to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, good posture and central control is encouraged, as well as forcing the pelvis to practice balance, which supports the back. There are some variations of this position, depending on whether you are trying to strengthen the back, stretch the front part of the body after the practice of working the base, or practice a therapeutic pose for back pain.
Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor, your hips. Make sure you can brush your heels with your fingers. In an inhalation, slowly and carefully lift the pelvis and lower back toward the ceiling, pressing your hands on the mat. If you feel comfortable, you can rise and climb higher, lifting the middle and upper back and tucking your shoulders under you, squeezing your shoulder blades. Lift the clavicle towards the ceiling and put your hands underneath you or place your elbows on the floor and your hands on your hips. Stay in this position for at least 5 long, slow breaths, watching as your belly rises over an inhalation and falls on an exhalation.
This posture stretches the shoulders and back while stimulating digestion, improving the flow of oxygen to the lungs and reducing blood pressure. However, you can tighten the back of your neck, so if your back pain is around the shoulder or neck area, you should consult your doctor or a yoga therapist or physiotherapist before practicing this pose Similarly, it is very difficult to pose, depending on flexibility and individual weight, so it is important only to push yourself to a comfortable stretch – never force your feet on the ground.
If you have severe back problems, a great alternative to this posture is simply lying on your back and hugging your knees towards your chest, which runs the length of the back. If you have a tight turn that would benefit from plowing pose, start upside down with your arms at your sides, hands clenched against the canvas. Squeeze your core and, in one inhalation, lift your legs, lower back and middle back toward the ceiling, catching your back with your hands firmly to support yourself.
It is a shoulder stop, and, again, it may be enough for you. If not, you can move your legs over your head, slowly and controlled, keeping your core strong and your back straight to protect your spine. Keep your feet moving back until you feel a good stretch in the back and stay in that position for a few breaths – your feet may or may not reach the floor. When leaving the plow pose or posture on the shoulders, keep your core strong and engaged and move slowly down without rolling down on your back. Place your hands back on the carpet and slowly move one vertebrae of your back on the mat at a time.
Universal spinal rotation
This is another relaxing and restful pose that reduces stiffness in backward tension and releases lower along the spine.
Start lying on your back with open arms, palms up. Bend one knee, and gradually fold over the other leg, allowing gravity to gently pull down towards the ground. Make sure the two shoulders stay connected with the mat, and direct the gaze in the opposite direction of your bent knee. Relax in the position and feel the stretch along the side of your body and your lower back. Stay here at least 5 times and then repeat on the other side.
If it is your lower back that is causing pain or discomfort, try this video sequence of yoga postures specifically aimed at the lower back …