If you are one of the 5 among us who experience lower back pain and are looking for solutions, yoga is here for you. Try these 7 yoga poses for lower back pain – Child’s pose, Crescent Lunge, Downward Dog, Yogi Squat, Standing Forward Bend, Plank, and Sphinx pose. With a video tutorial for each pose, you will learn how to safely move into and out of each pose along with how to maintain proper alignment. The movements of yoga focus on stretching, and strengthening, which is just what a sore back needs. Practicing yoga poses for lower back pain is an excellent way to address discomfort and improve your quality of life.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is extremely common and often results from a simple movement that causes strain to the muscles or tendons. Strains occur when a muscle is stretched too far and tears, damaging the muscle itself. Sprains occur when over-stretching and tearing affect ligaments, which connect the bones together.
What is the Lumbar Spine?
The lumbar spine which comprises the lower back has just five vertebrae — fewer than the cervical spine which comprises the neck and the thoracic spine which comprises the mid-back. The function of the lumbar spine is to support the upper body, provide structure for flexing and rotating the hips while walking, and support the spinal column. In the lower back, the spine connects to the pelvis. This area experiences a lot of movement and can experience a great deal of stress, which often leads to injuries and discomfort.
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Obviously, an injury can cause lower back pain, but also your lifestyle can affect your back health. Let’s look at some lifestyle choices that contribute to the likelihood of lower back pain.
Sitting – One of the leading causes of back pain is bad posture and a weak core from sitting too long. Modern life has given us many conveniences, but along with the technology age came an increase in daily sit time and therefore, an increase in lower back pain. Sitting for long periods of time tends to tighten the hips which pull on the lower back muscles, causing pain and discomfort.
Smoking – Several studies have shown a link between smoking and back pain, as smoking weakens the spine’s health. Smoking causes inflammation in the body and impedes the body’s natural healing. It damages arteries, and it’s thought that the damaged arteries in the discs and joints of the back can lead to pain and injury. Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that can lead to back pain. It also lowers Vitamin D levels, which can decrease bone density and can further contribute to bone fractures.
Being overweight – The spine is designed to carry the body’s weight. When excess fat is carried, the spine is forced to distribute this extra weight, which may compromise and cause injury to the back. The area most vulnerable is the lumbar region, the five vertebrae in the lower spine.
Sedentary lifestyle – Weak abdominal muscles which don’t provide proper support can lead to back sprains and strains. Those with a sedentary lifestyle are at greater risk of injury due to weak muscles.
Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain
Yoga is an excellent modality for easing lower back pain. It improves flexibility, strengthens the core, and improves posture. While using yoga to ease back pain it’s more important than ever to move mindfully and to be in touch with your body as you perform yoga postures and move in flowing sequences. The best yoga for lower back pain is yoga that will be performed with gentle ease and great attention. Beginner yoga for lower back pain is an excellent choice as many of the poses best for relieving back pain are considered basic and can be found in beginner sequencing.
Reducing Lower Back Pain through Body Awareness
Practicing yoga mindfully for just 5 – 10 minutes a day will help you build body awareness. This will help you be aware of yourself and notice when you’re holding tension, when you’ve been sitting slumped over, when you’re experiencing imbalances in your posture, when your breathing is choppy, etc., etc., etc. Through this self-awareness, you will be able to notice, assess, and make positive changes to your physical, mental, and emotional bodies.
So, until the bionic body age is swept in, you’ve only got this one body. Let’s all take good care of ours.