Chronic back pain is an issue that affects nearly 65 million Americans. It is a leading cause of "sick days" and work limitations and dramatically influences the quality of life of those involved. So, if you often experience back pain, you're not alone. But you can do something: Yoga and stretches might give you the relief you need!
When you stretch and
strengthen damaged, unbalanced, or tight muscles, blood flow is increased,
healing is boosted, and tension immediately decreases, providing relief from
back pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, keep reading to learn five new yoga
stretches that could change your life.
Our backs carry most of our daily stress. From the average lifestyle becoming increasingly sedentary to everyday pressure rising, the average person carries a lot of weight on their shoulders (as a manner of speaking). If you suffer from back pain, your symptoms are as likely to be caused by stress and lifestyle as injury.
The following are common causes of lower back pain
The following are a series of stretches you can do at home to help reduce your symptoms of lower back pain. Our yoga teachers have described these as the best and most effective stretches to offset lower back pain and discomfort. At times, these stretches can also address the root issue and promote healing.
It is important to note that you should never stretch in a way that feels uncomfortable. If you feel discomfort during your yoga session, stop immediately and follow up with your health care practitioner.
With that being said, let's get into it! Here are five easy at-home stretches for lower back pain inspired by yoga.
Begin lying on your back and relax fully. Breathe deeply, preparing yourself for movement. Inhale, reach your arms above your head, and stretch your legs in the opposite direction. Next, exhale, bring your bent knees to your chest, and wrap your arms around your shins.
This pose will leave you feeling relaxed, stretching the back body and helping you find relief in an easy, comfortable position.
Begin on hands and knees, otherwise known as in "tabletop position" with a neutral spine. Inhale, shifting your navel toward the ground and bringing your gaze upward, slightly arching your spine. On your exhale, squeeze your abdominals, bring your gaze toward your knees, and arch your spine in the opposite direction. To protect your back muscles, it's essential to have the sensation of drawing the navel in toward the spine. Repeat this series for 5-10 breaths.
This combination of postures improves the flexibility of the neck, back, shoulders, and spine, releasing tension from the back muscles.
Begin by lying on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you. Breathe deeply to begin to relax your muscles and nervous system. Slowly draw your elbows in on an inhale, under the shoulders. Press the palms of your hands and forearms into the ground in front of you and hold your chest proudly, the gaze an extension of the spine (forward and up!) Hold this posture for five breaths.
This posture lengthens the abdominal muscles and strengthens the spine, helping to open and release the low back. Plus, since it's performed on the forearms, Sphinx pose is suitable for those who shouldn't put weight on their wrists.
Begin standing with the feet at hip width and raise the arms overhead on an inhale. Take hold of the right forearm or wrist with the left hand. Exhale, and slowly begin to curve your body toward the right.
Bring your awareness to the sensations felt in the back and left side body as you move, and be careful to respect your body's limits: It doesn't take big, dramatic movements to feel the stretch here.
Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths, then repeat the same sequence on the other side, with the right hand holding the left forearm.
This posture gives your arms, chest, abdominal muscles, spine, and legs a great stretch, promoting length and balance in the spine.
Begin by standing with the feet at hip width. Inhale and raise the arms overhead, straightening the spine. Exhale and dive your upper body forward, grabbing for opposite elbows with your hands and allowing your arms and head to dangle, rocking from side to side if it's comfortable. Hold this posture for 3-5 breaths.
This posture allows you to stretch your back body, from the calves and hamstrings to the back and shoulders.
Why not book a private yoga session with one of Bigtoe's yoga teachers? It's easy! Download our app, book a session and relax in the comfort of your home with an in-person yoga class fully catered to your preferences.