Dealing with chronic back pain is something you can never really get used to. Although painkillers provide much-needed relief, they only allow for temporary relief. Many people looking to cut back on pain relievers try alternative therapy methods such as yoga.
Yoga is a great choice for people looking to improve their back pain and to strengthen their bodies in a holistic way. Willing to give it a shot? Here are 10 beginner yoga poses for back pain relief that can help you shake some of your chronic back pain symptoms and even address the causes of back pain.
Cat-Cow: This backbend pose gently massages the spine with an up-down motion while stretching your torso, shoulders, and neck. The breathing exercise accompanying these motions also helps relax your heart rate and your muscles.
Downward-Facing Dog: This traditional forward bend yoga pose may be a bit of a struggle the first few times around but once achieved, it is very restful and invigorating. The stretch goes up through your hamstrings and into your hips helping improve mobility. The pose is helpful for those who suffer from sciatica.
Reclining Pigeon Pose: For those who can’t quite achieve a downward-facing dog, the reclining pigeon pose may be the perfect alternative. This pose allows you to lay flat on your back and utilize your legs in order to stretch the muscles around your sciatica, which relieves lower back pain.
Sphinx Pose: This super easy backward bend pose is a great way to start your morning. Simply lay on your stomach and gently lift your neck and torso with the palms of your hands. This stretch strengthens your spine and stretches your chest, shoulders, and abdomen.
Bridge Pose: This pose targets back relief and even headache relief while stretching your spine and strengthening your hips and legs. Simply lay on your back with your knees bent and your arms down your sides, then gently push your hips up.
Top-Knee Spinal Twist: This restorative twist increases mobility and acts as a spinal massage. Lay on your back, bring your knees up to your abdomen, and extend your arms out. Gently swivel your knees from one side to the other, bringing them as far down to the floor as possible.
Child’s Pose: If you’ve ever had kids, you know what this looks like. But, did you know that this forward fold relaxes and lengthens your spine and while releasing tension in your back, neck, hips, thighs, and ankles?
Seated Forward Fold: You may not know this as yoga but this “reaching for your toes” pose is everything yoga is about: relaxation, stretching, strengthening, and breathing. It’s fine if you can’t actually reach your toes, just make sure to take deep breaths and see your flexibility increase with each try!
Lower Back Clasp: Do this pose for some extra lower-back strengthening. While on your stomach, raise your chest and interlink your hands (or get them back as much as possible) behind your back. Hold this pose for a few seconds for best results.
Seated Spinal Twist: This pose may be a bit more challenging for some but it is definitely worth it for back pain relief, mobility and posture. Just cross one leg over another, lift up your knee, and twist your back.
The best thing about these poses is that they are not only meant to alleviate your pain, they also work to strengthen your spine and your back muscles, which over time, also reduces your pain. With increased flexibility and mobility, your body will also be healthier and more relaxed.
While none of these poses are meant to cure chronic back pain, with regular practice they can greatly improve your symptoms, strengthen your muscles, and help you cut back on pain relievers. If you experience severe back pain or are unsure whether yoga therapy is right for you, book an appointment with one of our physicians to see whether these or other yoga poses for back pain are right for you.