Do you sit in front of your PC for too long, your works involves a lot of driving or your household chores strain your back? Then this is high time that you start looking out for some exercises for your back so that you save yourself from the trouble of consuming medications later on. Almost every second person today, young or old alike is faced with the problem of an uncomfortable back and there are many who have to undergo complex surgical procedure for its correction. The predicament of low back pain is a major public health problem that has in recent years reached epidemic proportions. Its treatment is turning out to be very cumbersome and has paved the way for the popularity of alternative medicine.
Yoga is one such complementary treatment for treating lower back pain disorders as it offers some simple exercises that you can perform at home from relaxing on the ground to certain back pain relieving postures (Asana). It becomes imperative to first understand what ‘Yoga’ is all about followed by the exercises that it offers.
Yoga is essentially an Indian system of spiritual, mental and physical therapy. Its history dates back to five thousand years and its main aim as per the classical texts is the freedom from agony of this life. The effectiveness of this therapy lies in its three fold treatment approach, i.e. reducing, healing and finally correcting the causal malfunctions through a chain of anatomical posture through a range of exercises from meditation to physical exercises. If you are on a regular Yoga session, you are then following a holistic approach to health. There is no doubt, then that the therapy can prove to be of immense help in treating the lower back pain disorders and the different postures are designed to educate you in the utilization of daily regimen of self care that manages and ultimately prevents the recurrence of persistent lower back pain.
Know the Postures for Relief from Back Pain
To begin with the exercises it would be a good beginning to know the various simple exercises that are available and then begin working on the one that you find the simplest followed by the more complex ones. Here is a list of the ones that you can simply carry on by your self:
(Disclaimer: The yoga poses in this article are meant for general informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice of a health professional or yoga instructor. Every person is different and has different needs depending on his or her health and constitution. For best results, get a checkup from your doctor and seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor who will customize the yoga poses/sequence, if needed, to suit your individual situation.)
Exercise 1) Mountain Pose(tadasana):
Being one of the most essential poses of yoga, make sure that you perform this exercise as it is the starting and the ending point of most of the standing yoga exercises. It helps the spine in its alignment and the overall movement of the body. All you need to do is so put on the entire weight of your body on your toes, keep your feet at your hip-width and look straight. Draw in your ribs in the direction of your belly and breathe in and out for five to six minutes with full concentration till you feel relaxed.
Exercise 2) Pelvic Exercise(eka pada asana):
It is recommended that you resort to tilting your pelvic area as it gives support to your low back, sacroiliac joints, abdominals and the nearby structures due to poor posture and muscle disorder. This exercise can also form a starting point for your later exercise programs of spinal stabilization. Sit down on the ground and lie on your back with your legs straightened out. Bend you right knee and pull it towards your chest and remain in this posture for 20 seconds. Repeat this activity for the left leg.
Exercise3) Forward Bend:
If you want to work on your sense of alignment then forward bend yoga can be extremely beneficial as it offers an entire stretch of the back side of the body form the neck to the back to the heels. Although it is similar to picking up anything form the ground, but this time you have to do it with more concentration and mindfulness and surrender. This asna also keeps the spinal cord in shape and creates a space between each vertebra. Make sure that you touch your toes with the fingers of your hand during thi exercise.
Exercise 4) Triangle Pose (trikonasana):
This asna is beneficial for the hip and spine bones and can even be beneficial for those suffering from chronic back pains and relieves the muscles of the lower and upper back. It is especially beneficial if your daily activities include long hours of work by facing forward, sitting at the computer or driving for long. Stretch your legs and bend in such a way that your hands touch the ground but your feet should be firmly grounded. Move forward your left hand and foot (1 metre) and in a straight line keep your right hand in air for about a couple of minutes. The same posture should be repeated for the right side of the body.
Exercise 5) The Down Dog Pose (adho mukha svanasana):
This pose ensures that any stretch and tension on your spinal cord is released and also helps strengthen arms, shoulder and upper back. It also ensures that you give space to the region around you neck, back and hips. Sit on the floor on your hands and knee, relax and exhale for sometime. Thereafter stretch your knees in such a way that you draw the lower area of your body backwards from the pelvis and make sure that you feel as if your legs are being pulled from behind by a rope. In the end stretch your arms and breathe through the belly. Repeat the exercise daily to get the desired results.
Exercise 6) Upward Facing Dog Pose:
This pose increases the flexibility of the spine and helps to bring core strength. You can first start down by lying down on the floor and then putting the entire weight of your body on your hands raise your head upwards so that your back curves lightly in the process. Remain in this posture for sometime and take deep breaths.
Exercise 7) Child Pose:
This asana can help relieve you of stress, fatigue, anxiety and is a wonderful exercise in case of alignment of your spine and strengthens the muscles and bones of your back. Sit down in a kneeling position Rest your stomach on your thighs, your hips on your feet, your head on the ground and keep your arms relaxed to relax the muscles of your back.
Exercise 8) Cat Pose:
If you want to bring back the energy into your spine and relieve the tension in the lower back, then cat pose is the best option available for it. Moreover, this asna ensures increased blood flow and revitalizes other organs of your body. Sit on your knees and feet keeping them at your hip-width. Then inhale and make an arch out of your spine and remain in this position for sometime. Thereafter exhale and bend your spine in the same position.
Exercise 9) Bridge Pose:
As the name signifies, lie on your back and raise your hips in air with your feet acting as support. Thereafter move your arms over your head in the opposite direction. Props like pillow, chair or anything can be used so that it gives support to your back and legs when your stretch more.
Exercise 10) Corpse Pose:
Although the name might appear to be repulsive, but make sure that you perform this exercise if you want an immediate relief for your back pain. You just have to lie down relaxed with your arms and legs spread out. You may also rotate your head to give movement to your spine while in the same position and stretch your neck way from your shoulders. Keep on breathing slowly in the meantime.
The wonderful health benefits of Yoga are yet to be fully explored and it will be only a matter of time when we will see it fast emerging as one of the major branches of dealing with back related problems. For Yoga to be completely effective what is needed on your part is that you follow a fixed time table to make it a point to regularly perform these exercises if you want to keep back related problems at bay.