As we get older and take some of the stress that life throws our way, we become susceptible to pains and bruises that radiates throughout the body. One of the most common complaints among older people is back pain and while this can be caused by a variety of reasons, yoga is the perfect proactive form of exercise to alleviate back pain.
Aside from alleviating the pain in certain areas of the back, yoga can strengthen weak muscles located along the spine. The strengthening of these muscles can lead to a reduced risk of back pain. In the following article, we aim to give you a complete yoga for back pain beginners guide, including all the benefits and poses to strengthen muscles and alleviate pain.
Advantages Of Practicing Yoga For Your Back And Neck
Once we experience back pain, we often neglect to act or simply brush it off as something that will pass. Eventually, back pain might become more severe, which leads many people to consult a medical expert. We still encourage the use of medical experts like chiropractors, but for neck and back pain, there are a few distinct advantages that yoga brings to the table:
- Scientifically Proven
A 2011 study conducted has shown that there is a correlation between yoga and curing chronic lower back pain. The America Pain Society has also found that performing light forms of yoga can lead to a reduction in chronic lower back pain while strengthening muscles at the same time. Keep in mind that no pharmaceutical additives were used.
- Stress Relief
One of the first areas to tense up in your body is your neck. Tension in the neck muscles can be caused by incorrect sleeping positions, but daily stress is a big contributor to causing tension in the neck muscles. Yoga aims to stretch muscles, relieving some of the tension in your neck and upper back. This translates to ultimate stress relief, which leads to a healthy lifestyle.
- Cheaper Than A Physiotherapist
Neck and back pain can often book you a one-way ticket to your GP. The GP will inevitably refer you to a physiotherapist or chiropractor to help alleviate some of the pain. Should the pain be manageable, you might want to consider the benefits of yoga to help relieve some of the pain. Yoga is cheaper while having many other benefits including weight loss and overall flexibility.
- A Habit That Becomes A Lifestyle
Yoga should not be a “one and done” form of exercise. With all the mental and health benefits associated with performing yoga, you should consider sticking to your chosen form and making it a lifestyle. Once you establish a healthy lifestyle, you will alleviate more than just pain, but also be happier in your general life.
Yoga For Back Pain Benefits
Having a better idea of how yoga can improve your life and rid your body of niggles, you might also want to know some of the benefits you can expect from performing yoga for back pain. Yoga is an age-old method of helping people deal with mental and physical issues, while also helping to build muscles and lose weight.
Beginners Yoga For Upper Back Pain
Should you find yourself with upper back pain, you might have trouble sleeping or walking in the right positions. However, many yoga exercises can help you deal with it. You don’t need to focus on the fast-paced action of Vinyasa, which could aggravate the issues. Here is a small guide to alleviating upper back pain with yoga.
- Early Morning: It is best to start your mornings early. Once you get out of bed, you will want to stretch out your muscles, including your neck and lower back. Marjariasana and Bitilasan are two effective methods of identifying any pain along your spine.
- During The Day: During the day, your pain should not be as bad and your back should be warm. However, there is no harm in doing a few back stretches when you can at the office or when strolling to your lunch break.
- At Night: Eventually, you will notice less stress in your upper back, but you should still perform a few yoga-breathing exercises. These will not only alleviate your pain but also give you a healthy mindset.
Beginners Yoga For Lower Back Pain
While upper back pain is directly tied to the neck, lower back pain is one of the most frustrating issues anyone can deal with. One of the main reasons for lower back pain is undeveloped muscles, which takes a lot of strain during daily activities. One of the best ways to alleviate back pain is to strengthen the muscles around the spine.
- Early Morning: Much like with your upper back, it is best to stretch out the muscles and warm them up first thing in the morning.
- During The Day: Physical activity is important to allow you to strengthen your lower back. Instead of taking the elevator, you can take the steps to strengthen your back.
- At Night: While you can perform many active yoga poses like Vinyasa, you might also want to consider a few basic lower back stretches to improve the muscle strength down your spine.
Yoga Poses For Back Pain For Beginners
With a few basic tips that should help you with your lower and upper back pain, you might also be wondering which poses are the best for back pain. We have done some research to find a few of the top poses that the experts recommend to alleviate back pain. Many of these poses also help with strengthening the back muscles:
Forward Fold Half Way (Ardha Uttanasana)
Forward Fold Half Way is a typical exercise where you aim to touch your toes. The farther you can reach, the more you will stretch your lower back. However, you should not move up and down when hanging, as this could severely shorten the muscles in the lower back.
Upward Facing Dog (Ūrdhva Mukha Svānāsana)
Upward Facing Dog is one of the most common yoga asanas. It is one of the top ways to keep your spine aligned and will put some stress on your lower back. While it does not strengthen the muscles, it stretches them out.
Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana)
Most of us have come to know the standard plank position, but low plank brings you closer to the ground and puts some strain on your shoulders and lower back. The core is also trained and while it strengthens the core, there is evidence suggesting that a stronger core help alleviating pain from weaknesses in the back.
Supine Twist (Supta Jaṭhara Parivartānāsana)
If you do a lot of stretching, you will notice the Supine Twist. It is one of the best stretching exercises that will help you get rid of spinal issues and realign the spine. The easier the asana becomes, the deeper you can go, while even having assistance to push your knee deeper into the floor. It is also a great way to relieve back spasms.
Seated Side Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
The Seated Side Twist is probably the hardest of the poses we have on the list. While it stretches and aligns your spine, the main goal is to strengthen the muscles around your spine. A couple of weeks should be enough to improve your lower back strength.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dealing with back pain is one of the worst things that anyone can live with. However, there are a few options available now to help you. Whilst researching, we have come across a couple of questions that many of you might still have. Here, we hope to give you all the answers and help you deal with back pain effectively.
Unless you are a medical expert, it is best to visit your GP to find out exactly what the issue is. While yoga can relieve some of the pain, it is not necessarily used to diagnose the origin of your pain.
Most forms of yoga are equally effective and it comes down to personal preference. Many people swear by Vinyasa as an active form, but Iyengar Yoga is also one of the best ways to strengthen your back muscles.
To find out if your back pain is muscular, we would recommend that you visit your local doctor for an accurate diagnosis. While you can diagnose it at home, experts can help you with a clear diagnosis to ensure you have the right way to heal. A few signs of muscular back pain include difficulty walking, muscle spasms, and pain in your buttocks from your spine.
There is a lot of speculation about the pillow between the knee sleeping posture. However, you will keep your legs in the same position, which keeps the upper leg from pulling your spine out of position. While it might not alleviate back pain, it can certainly prevent it.
Your back is one of the most important parts of your body and keeping it in the best possible condition will ensure overall health. Yoga is a great way to alleviate pain in your back, but it also prevents pain from starting in the first place. Keep in mind that yoga should be performed actively and lead to an overall healthy lifestyle if you want to reap all the rewards.