Yoga for Low Back Pain
Do you deal with low back pain?
If you suffer from low back pain, you are not alone. In fact, back pain actually affects more people around the world than any other disability. (Hoy, et al.)
This is due to the fact that, as time goes on, more and more people spend the majority of the day sitting around at desks or hunching over technology. The more one does this, the more likely that person becomes to deal with pain and discomfort.
So, what causes back pain, and how can yoga for low back pain help you?
Low Back Pain Causes
Low back pain can have a variety of different causes, and what causes back pain for one person might completely vary for someone else. This is why it is important to look and and define what the cause of your back pain is in order to properly work towards making it better.
Some of the most common causes of low back pain include, but are not limited to:
Tight Hips- Tight hip flexors can actually cause quite a bit of low back pain. When the hip flexors and muscles within the hips are too tight, they start to pull on the muscles of the lower back, causing tension and discomfort. If you are too tight in your hips or lower back, certain exercises become less safe to do, and you run a higher risk of injuring yourself further.
Poor Posture- The majority of people actually suffer from a form of poor posture. When your posture is not properly aligned, it can cause a lot of discomfort for your back. For those who spend a lot of their day sitting down or hunching over, this is especially prevalent. The longer you sit with your back rounded, the more you force the natural curve in the spine to straighten, hurting your posture. If your posture continues to weaken, eventually, the vertebrae can actually push the discs of your spine out of place. This is how slipped or herniated discs come to be.
Soft Tissue Injuries- The soft tissues of the body refer to our muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Any of these soft tissues can be injured, pulled, or even torn. This can lead to an immense amount of pain and can cause further issues in the future. Soft tissue injuries can take place when you overextend or move the wrong way. This is especially true for those who are tighter in their soft tissues.
Weak Core/ Glutes- If you are weaker in your core and/or glutes, your back might be taking more pressure than it should be. The core is meant to be strong to properly support your spine and keep it safe. Without a strong core, you are much more likely to experience lower back pain.
How Can Yoga Help Low Back Pain?
Now that we have looked at some of the most common causes of low back pain, let’s take a moment to look into how yoga can help with this discomfort.
Strength- Yoga is a great way to strengthen the muscles of the body, and can be especially helpful for back pain by keeping the core and glutes strong. This protects the spine and keeps everything properly in place. Poses like boat pose, plank pose, and locust pose are just some of the many that are wonderful for strengthening the core. To strengthen the glutes in addition to the core, you might try out chair pose or bridge pose.
Mobility/ Flexibility- Yoga increases mobility and flexibility throughout the whole body. When stretching out the hips in yoga, you can increase their mobility as well, decreasing the pressure they put on the lower back. Increasing the flexibility in the soft tissues of the body can actually help to lessen the chance of injuries. The stretchier and more mobile these tissues are, the less of a chance they have of pulling or tearing.
Correcting Posture- Yoga also helps to promote proper posture. When your posture is out of alignment, it can negatively affect many areas of your life, making it more difficult to focus, and causing constant discomfort. Through practices of mindfulness, specific yoga poses, breathing techniques, and meditation, you are able to become much more aware and in tune with your body. This is important for noticing if and when your posture feels off. When this happens, you are able to check in with where the pain is stemming from in order to correct the problem, being sure to keep your posture aligned. To continue promoting better posture, you might try out certain poses like child’s pose, puppy pose, cat/cow, and mountain pose.
How Can Body By Yoga Help With Low Back Pain
Did you know that we have a variety of wonderful yoga programs to choose from? In fact, we even have a program called Better Back Yoga. This program is specifically designed to help with decreasing back pain, and it offers a variety of workouts to help different areas of the back as well as different causes of pain. We have videos for extension based pain in addition to flexion based pain. With three classes and a bonus ten minute class to practice with, this program is great for those looking to get started on their yoga journey while lessening back pain. You can check out this amazing program by clicking here.
In addition, we offer many free tutorials and tips for helping you along your yoga journey. We even have lots of resources specifically for using yoga to help with back pain. If you are looking for some great information for using yoga to help your back, click here to learn more about what we have to offer.
Reference: Hoy, D., March, L., Brooks, P., Blyth, F., Woolf, A., Bain, C., Williams, G., Smith, E., Vos, T., Barendregt, J., Murray, C., Burstein, R., & Buchbinder, R. (2014). The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 73(6), 968–974. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428