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Yoga Asanas For Back Pain Relief

Back pain in general, and lower back pain in particular, is a common healthcare problem. It is usually identified as pain, stiffness or muscle tension in the region of the back, either with or without accompanying sciatica (leg pain) [1] .

Yoga

Causes Of Back Pain

Affecting an increasing number of people all over the world, there can be many reasons for your back pain.

  • Problems related to your spine: You can experience back pain if there is something wrong with the discs, nerves, muscles or joints in your spine. Slipped discs [2] , bulging discs [3] , and cervical radiculopathy [4] or pinched nerve [5] are some examples of problems affecting the spine.
  • Accidents and injuries: Fractures, falls, car accidents, strains, and muscle sprains can also be the reason behind back pain. Studies have revealed that anyone who suffers a fall or meets with an accident that requires hospitalization has a 7% chance of developing back pain. Out of these, one-third of the people will suffer from low back pain for about a year after the incident [6] .
  • Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle-related issues that can lead to back pain include - wearing high heels, smoking, wrong posture while sitting down, or being overweight. Studies have revealed that severe obesity is often linked to chronic back pain that can last a lifetime [7] .
  • Emotional issues: Stress and depression can also cause back pain. Clinical research has revealed that depression and post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] are commonly associated with chronic back pain [CBP] [7] .
  • Other causes: Some of the other causes for back pain include - pregnancy [7] , kidney stones [7] , curvature of spine [8] , tumour [9] , and arthritis [10] , among others.

Yoga Asanas For Back Pain

Clinical trials have revealed that yoga can, when compared to the regular care routine or no care, reduce the pain severity and factor of 'bothersomeness' commonly associated with lower back pain [11] .

Some of the yoga asanas for back pain are as follows:

1. Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja's Twist) [12]

Yoga

1. Sit down on the floor.
2. With your legs straight out, shift your weight onto your right side.
3. Bending your knees, swing your legs to the left side.
4. Rest your feet on the floor, on the side of your left hip.
5. Inhale. Lift your torso.
6. Exhale. Twist your torso in the right direction.
7. Keep your left hand under your right knee.
8. Bring right hand next to your right buttock, place on the floor.
9. Pulling your shoulder back, continue to twist gently.
10. Hold the position for about 30 seconds.
11. Release.
12. Repeat on the left side.

2. Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) [13]

Yoga

1. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees.
2. With knees directly below your hips, keep your shoulders, elbows and wrists perpendicular to the floor.
3. Keep your head in a neutral position.
4. Eyes directed at the floor.
5. Exhaling, turn your spine in the direction of the ceiling.
6. Maintain the position of your knees and shoulders.
7. Inhale.
8. Come back to the initial position.
9. Repeat.

3. Salabhasana (Locust Pose) [14]

Yoga

1. Lie prone on the floor.
2. Place hands on your sides.
3. While inhaling, lift your upper body and legs.
4. Lift your legs up without bending your knees.
5. Hold for a maximum of 1 minute.
6. Release.

4. Halasana (Plough Pose) [15]

Yoga

1. Lie down on the floor.
2. Inhale.
3. Lift your feet to a 90-degree angle using your stomach muscles.
4. Using your hands for support, lift your hips off the floor.
5. Keeping your back straight on the floor, bring your feet to rest above and behind your head.
6. Hold the position for a minute.
7. Exhale.
8. Release gently.

5. Dandasana (Staff Pose) [16]

Yoga

Considered to be the simplest asana that anyone can do quite easily, dandasana improves the posture of your lower back.

1. Sit down on the floor.
2. Keeping your back straight, extend your legs in front.
3. Straighten the spine by sitting up and not slouching.
4. With your palms on your side, maintain a straight back.
5. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
6. Release.

6. Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) [17]

Yoga

1. Firstly, assume the dandasana explained above.
2. With your fingertips pointing in the direction of your feet, place both your hands just behind your hips.
3. With your feet firmly on the floor, begin bending your knees.
4. Exhale.
5. With your feet and hands firmly placed on the floor, lift your hips.
6. Lift as high as you can manage.
7. Now, lift your chest up as well. Let your shoulders roll towards your back.
8. Allow your head to fall behind you.
9. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds.
10. Release.

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) [18]

Yoga

Bhujangasana is the 8th asana in the 12 asanas that make up the Suryanamaskar routine.

1. Lie prone on the floor.
2. Place both hands on your sides at shoulder level, keeping the palms on the floor.
3. Inhaling, raise your head and upper body. Make sure that your arms are bent at the elbows.
4. Pressing your lower body onto the floor, gently arch your neck backwards.
5. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
6. Release slowly. Bring hands to your sides, touch your forehead to the ground. Rest your head on one side.

8. Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose) [19]

Yoga

1. Lie down on the floor.
2. Bring your knees in the direction of your chest.
3. Hold your knees in a tight hug.
4. Breathing normally, maintain the pose for some time.
5. Each time you exhale, tighten your grip on your knees, pressing down on your chest and abdomen.
6. When you inhale, loosen your grip.
7. Also, gently rock and roll your body from side to side.

8. Release.

9.  Padmasana (Lotus Pose) [20]

Yoga

1. Sit down on the floor.
2. Keep your legs stretched out in front.
3. Maintain an erect spine.
4. Bending your right knee, place foot on left thigh. Ensure that the heel is near your stomach.
5. Do the same with your left leg.
6. Now, with both feet on your thighs, place your hands on your knees.
7. Breathe gently.
8. Keep your spine erect.
9. Hold for some time.

10. Bitilasna (Cow Pose) [21]

Yoga

1. Get down on your hands and knees.
2. Gently arch your spine towards the ceiling.
3. Press your palms onto the floor.
4. Try and look as high as you can, without straining yourself.
5. Breathe.
6. Hold for some time.
7. Release.

11. Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) [22]

Yoga

1. Stand with your arms on your sides and feet apart.
2. Turning your palms outwards, interlock your fingers.
3. Get the back of your hands on top of your head.
4. Stretching upwards, try lifting your hands as much as possible.
5. Taking your heels off the floor, raise yourself on your toes.
6. Hold for about 30 seconds.
7. Release.

12. Adho mukha svanasan (Downward Facing Dog Pose) [23]

Yoga

1. Go down on the floor on your hands and knees.
2. With your toes firmly planted on the floor, left your knees in the upwards direction.
3. Stretch your arms upwards.
4. Lift your knees as much as you can. Your body will look something like an upside down 'V' at this point.
5. Push your lower back out.
6. Hold for some time.
7. Release.

13. Setu bandhasana (Bridge Pose) [24]

Yoga

1. Sit down on the floor.
2. With your legs out straight in front of you, place your hands behind your body.
3. While inhaling, raise your upper torso and pelvic region.
4. Let your head hang backwards.
5. Hold for some time.
6. Release.

14. Ardh matsyendrasana (Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose) [25]

Yoga

1. Sit down on the floor.
2. Your legs should be stretching out in front.
3. Bending your left leg, try touching your feet to your right hip.
4. Bringing your right leg outside, touch your foot to the ground.
5. Now, turn your body to the right.
6. While holding your right foot with your left hand, place your right hand behind you.
7. Hold for some time.
8. Release.
9. Repeat on the other side.

15. Pashchimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) [26]

Yoga

1. Sit down on the floor.
2. Keep your palms on your knees.
3. Without bending your knees, bow down and catch your toes with your hands.
4. Try touching down your head onto your knees.
5. Hold the pose for some time.
6. Release.

The above-mentioned are some yoga asanas that can help to alleviate your back pain. Yoga must preferably be done first thing in the morning, as soon as you get up. But, in case of any constraints, yoga can also be practised at other times during the day, as per convenience. It is generally recommended that yoga must always be done on an empty stomach. Make sure that you have your meals at least 4 hours before yoga.

However, do keep in mind that you must consult a yoga teacher if you are suffering from certain other ailments or minor injuries.

View Article References
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  2. [2] Golder, W. (2010). Phraseology of disk herniation: an inevitable revision renaming the posterior disk prolapse--retrolapse is better.Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie,78(8), 479-480.
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  8. [8] Suri, P., Boyko, E. J., Smith, N. L., Jarvik, J. G., Williams, F. M., Jarvik, G. P., & Goldberg, J. (2016). Modifiable risk factors for chronic back pain: insights using the co-twin control design.The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society,17(1), 4–14.
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Read more about: yoga back pain posture asana back ache
Story first published: Thursday, May 16, 2019, 17:17 [IST]
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