Published: 03/22/2016 - Updated: 03/10/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Hello everyone! Back pain is a very common condition today, which often forces us to stay home and take time away from work, class, etc. With all the problems this causes, being able to reduce or even avoid back pain is essential.
The origins of back pain can be very diverse and some of the most common causes are usually as follows: posture, hours spent sitting in front of a computer perhaps using uncomfortable chairs, bearing the weight of our bags, lifting with a badly positioned spinal column, sleeping in very soft beds or with very high pillows, etc. On the other hand, problems such as lordosis, kyphosis and scoliosis can also be the cause of very painful back complaints. Yoga is a good way to relieve tension and maintain good health in this part of the body.
The importance of an aligned back
The back is the centre of an elaborate network of nerves, bones and muscles that work together so that we can keep ourselves up and move. The 26 vertebrae that compose the back, besides being the main back support, are also what protects the spinal cord, which is why any alteration to the vertebrae can affect the nerves and cause pain in the back and other areas.
On the other hand, the back muscles allow us to make spine movements, so it is important to strengthen these muscles to perform all of the tasks required of the back. Otherwise, ligaments, inter-vertebral discs and vertebrae must withstand heavier loads which may alter them and therefore favour the onset of back pain. This usually appears with age, since a more sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity facilitate the loss of muscle mass, malfunction and contraction.
Postures to reduce back pain
Yoga, as long as it has not been advised otherwise by the specialist, can help to improve the health of your spine and relieve back pain, as many positions will allow you to lengthen the spine and thus create space between the spinal discs, relieving pressure that can be exerted on them. Yoga can also help you to strengthen the muscles of the spine and legs, which in turn will help you to reduce and control any back pain that you may be experiencing.
Some of the following postures which are often practised in yoga classes to improve back pain are:
Cow cat pose: This is an excellent exercise for the entire back. You can relax the entire spinal column, especially the cervical and lumbar part. It is necessary that you perform this pose slowly and without sudden movements, as well as correcting your rhythm of breathing, because if you do it suddenly you could harm yourself.
Bridge pose: It helps to stretch the chest, neck and spine and reduces back pain in the lum
bar area, as well as possible tensions in the shoulders. Your yoga teacher will suggest alterations to the pose if you are suffering from neck or knee problems.
Inverted V pose: This pose helps to stretch your back, arms, legs, biceps and hamstrings. This asana
can help to relieve sciatic pain, as by stretching these different zones, you will also stretch the sacral area where sciatica usually originates.
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Yoga acts as a preventive method, as well as attenuating back pain, as long as it is practised under strict professional supervision and has been recommended by a doctor or qualified health practitioner.
Have a great week!
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 03/10/2018
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