Are you a sufferer of chronic low back pain? Or perhaps sitting at a desk all day causes back pain for you. Whatever the reason is, no one wants to experience constant pain in any way. So what options do you have for ridding yourself of the pain?
Well, as we all know, there’s always a quick fix for back pain which is taking medication. However, if you don’t like to take medicines that will last for a bit and then allow the pain to come right back, what do you do? There is always expensive massage or chiropractic sessions, which are excellent, but not everyone can afford them.
So what does one do when they have lower back pain and doesn’t like to take medicine or can’t afford a massage or a visit to the chiropractor? The answer is simple - yoga stretches/poses. Let’s take a look at 5 yoga poses that are excellent for stretching the lower back and relieving pain.
Pose: Child’s Pose
Benefits: This simple posture will help to ease tension in the back and neck while lengthening and stretching the spine. It is also good for relieving stress which can also cause tension in the back.
How to Do It: Starting out from a table top position (on your hands and knees with your wrists below your shoulders and knees below the knees), put your big toes from both feet together and keep your heels spread apart. Sit back on your heels and put your forehead down on the mat. Stretch your arms out in front of you, palms flat on the mat. Breathe deeply.
Modifications: Child’s pose is one of the easier poses to do. However, if you have bad knees, try placing a yoga block on the floor underneath you to put some of your weight on and take some pressure off of the knees.
Pose: Cobra Pose
Benefits: The gentle backbend provided by this stretch not only stretches your abdomen and chest, but also strengthens your spine and can even help soothe sciatica. With a stronger spine, some of the pressure is taken off of the lower back, easing pain.
How to Do It: Begin in a lying position on your stomach and place your hands directly under your shoulders, flat on the mat. Face your elbows back towards your feet and with an inhale, push into the mat with your hands and lift your chest up off of the ground. For a deeper stretch, straighten your arms as much as you can.
Modification: If this is too much for you, you can always only lift your chest slightly off the ground, pushing your weight into your hands and bending your elbows backwards towards your feet.
Benefits: This is a great move for sore or stiff lower backs. It involves a gentle backbend with a rounding of the spine to relieve any tension or stiffness. It also mobilizes the spine.
How to Do It: Begin in tabletop position (on all fours with your wrists directly below your shoulders and knees directly below your hips). With an inhale, push your shoulders back and down, opening up your chest, and bring your torso downwards towards the mat (as much as you can without moving from tabletop position) and your tailbone should reach up towards the sky. Then, with an exhale, round through the spine, pushing down through your hands and knees into the mat and curl your spine like a cat, dropping your head and neck, as well as your tailbone. Repeat for around 5-10 breaths.
Modifications: If this is too much for your back to handle, try only moving slightly through each movement. Don’t arch your back as much, but try only slight movements.
Pose: Standing Forward Bend
Benefits: This pose is an excellent way to relieve any tension you feel in the lower back while gently stretching the spine. It is an immediate relief to lower back pain for many.
How to Do It: Stand with your feet either together or hips width apart. Inhale as you reach your arms up toward the sky, and as you exhale, fold forward allowing your head and neck to be taken over by gravity, releasing any tension you may be holding in your shoulders, and breathe deeply for at least 10 breaths.
Modifications: If this feels like too much, bend your knees slightly to release some of the tension in your hamstrings. You can also grab opposite elbows and gently sway from side to side, which helps to release some of the tightness in the back muscles.
Pose: Two Knee Spinal Twist
Benefits: This deliciously gentle twist of the spine is an excellent way to mobilize the spine and back. It stretches the hips, back, and shoulders and is a great way to relieve any pain in the back area.
How to Do It: Lie down on a mat or comfortable surface on your back. Bring your arms out to a T to your sides and bend your knees, placing your feet on the ground, knees up towards the sky. Then, keeping your knees together, gently bring them to one side of your body, keeping the opposite shoulder on the ground and hold for 5-10 breaths. Return to the center and do the same on the opposite side.
Modifications: Rather than bringing your legs all the way down to the opposite side, bring them only as far as is comfortable for you. Use your hand as a guide and lightly pull them to the side. Always listen to your body and only go as far as it will allow.
Yoga stretches are an amazing way to relieve lower back pain and help you feel like a brand new person. These stretches are sure to have you feeling like a brand new person in no time.