10 Yoga Poses for Back Pain
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine & Founder Cosmic Yogi Festivals
The facts are startling…about 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time and there were over 264 million days of worked missed every year due to back pain…that’s two work days for every full-time worker in the United States. Back pain is also the third most common reason for visits to the doctor and most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
On the bright side, this means yoga can help and is an effective practice for many who suffer from back pain. I personally have lower back issues and practice deep stretches daily (sometimes a few times a day) to keep my back open, relaxed and active. In the morning before I even get out of bed (yes, I do some of my poses and stretches right there in bed), I have to do basic poses such as cat/cow, child’s pose and knee to chest before I can start moving. You can even find me at work using these postures after being on the computer for a while.
There are 10 poses I highly recommend for opening and stretching your back. These are the ones I have found to work wonders on my stiff, painful back. When I practice these daily, I find my back to be less painful and my ability to do more difficult postures are greater.
I have also found these poses and stretches to be beneficial before I get on the tread mill at the gym or get in the pool to swim a few laps. If you have issues with back pain, opening your back muscles and releasing the stiffness is a MUST for whatever sport you are participating whether it be tennis, basketball, volleyball, running…any physical activity! As we get older, it’s even more imperative.
A few years ago, I remember getting on the trend mill at the gym nearly every evening. But before I got on, I practiced my postures and deep stretches for almost 30 minutes. I never really thought about it because it had been a part of my routine for so long. I knew it helped my lower back and enabled me to workout harder without injury and less pain. One day, a couple of the guys in the guy approached me and asked me about my pre-workout routine of stretches. They were prone to injuries and two out of the three suffered from lower back pain. They were lifting weights, running and playing racquetball without stretching out! No wonder they were in pain.
I showed them these 10 poses and, at first, they felt silly doing the downward dog and the cat/cow but within a short time there was a huge difference in how their bodies felt and their lower back pain lessened and, on some days, disappeared. They even mentioned their ability to lift weights more efficiently and play better racquetball. It made me smile when I would walk into the gym and see one of them “warming up” with the yoga postures.
Here are the 10 Yoga Poses for, as we say in Texas, FIXIN’ your back.