Yoga & Back Pain

‘Back pain is very common and normally improves within a few weeks or months. Pain in the lower back (lumbago) is particularly common, although it can be felt anywhere along the spine – from the neck down to the hips. In most cases, the pain isn’t caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time. There are things you can do to help relieve it. But sometimes the pain can last a long time or keep coming back.’  NHS

Back pain can be very debilitating, particularly as it threatens the core of your being and emanates out to your peripheries. It’s important to treat back pain to ensure imbalances are dealt with and more helpful patterns established. The most important things are to ensure a lengthened spine in all poses. Even if you’re coming forwards you keep the spine as long as possible. By being focused on a good starting and ending position we can help the body move in increasingly helpful ways. Lower back pain requires careful treatment and without care, increased damage can be caused. The main concern is weakening the area and increasing malalignment and pain.  Be careful with forward bends and twists, both of which can shear vulnerable areas.

The main concern is putting increased pressure on disks, creating further inflammation, overextending and overstretching supporting muscles.

Be very careful with any pose that involves deep forwards movements, deep backward movements, quick movements. Be mindful when moving your back at all times.

 

Yoga can help by:

  • Releasing pressure on the disks
  • Making healthy increased space between the disks
  • Stretching and strengthening supporting muscles

Do

  • Move in a way your back feels good and follow your breath. If it becomes more ragged or shallow back off the pose a little.
  • Strengthen abdominal muscles
  • Strengthen upper legs muscles
  • Lift by 1 bending the knees, 2 engaging pelvic floor and abdominals 3 lifting with a long back

Don’t

  • Do anything where you feel stretch anywhere around the bony areas of the pelvis
  • Twist unless spine is lengthened
  • Do reclining twists with legs extended
  • Bend over with a rounded back to work in the garden or the likes
  • Poses exercise caution with all forward bends, all backbends
  • Poses to avoid: camel, wheel, deep twists, quick movements