Lower back pain is so common that is estimated that 80% of adults will suffer from it at some point in their lives. So many factors and causes can cause this type of pain. It can be muscle, nerve, or disc related. It can be a traumatic injury that is acting up years later. It can be bad posture, sciatica, scoliosis, or a myriad of other things. For that reason, it is a problem that is hard to diagnose and can be untreated for a long time.
Many of us also tend to ignore back pain and accept it as part of life. This does not have to be the case and, although you should see a doctor in case you feel debilitating pain, there are ways to alleviate and even get rid of the pain. If you sweat a lot and don’t own a yoga towel, check out: what kind of towel do I need for hot yoga? here.
Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain
Although everyone is prone to suffer from all kinds of pain, some are more likely to. This can be because of their jobs, physical condition or genetics. They should be extra careful and should consider practicing yoga for lower back pain regularly. These include, but are not limited to:
Being pregnant is not an easy process for the body. There are a lot of changes that the body goes through to support the growth of the fetus and their weight too. The pelvic bone of a woman loses to prepare for the birth and the center of gravity is largely shifted. This can cause a lot of discomfort and back pain to most women and, even though it is usually resolved postpartum, it is still highly uncomfortable.
Read our guide on the Best Maternity Yoga Pants
As we age, back pain has become more and more common. Starting from the age of 30 we start to suffer from occasional attacks of back pain. Our bones go through a loss of integrity and become weaker, and that can be the cause of the pain. Osteoporosis is also a playing factor in back health.
The more weight we carry, the more our backs suffer. That is true for babies, backpacks, groceries, and our weight. This is especially true for fast weight gains that the body does not expect.
Low level of fitness individuals
Exercise strengthens the muscles, and muscles support the bones. If our core muscles and back muscles are not able to properly support our spine, chances are we are going to suffer pain as a result.
Occupational risk professionals
Some jobs are more dangerous than others. And some jobs make back pain more possible than others. Heavy lifting and pulling, particularly when it involves twisting the spine, can lead to injury and back pain. Alternatively, a desk job that makes you sit all day can also lead to pain if the chair does not have good lumbar support.
The 8 Best Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain
Even if you don’t want to do a full yoga class, there are yoga poses that can help immensely and can be done in a small space in your bedroom. Take five minutes at the beginning and end of the day to do some of this position and you will feel the improvement in just a couple of days.
The child’s pose is one of the most satisfying poses that yoga can offer. It is great for lower back pain and it feels effortless while being very enjoyable. To do it, kneel on your mat (or the floor, or a thick blanket) with your knees apart and your feet together.
With a deep breath, raise your arms to the ceiling and straighten your spine. Exhaling, lie your torso forward on top of your thighs. Stay there for about three minutes to start feeling the results. This works because it takes the pressure out of your lower back and aligns the spine.
The cat/cow pose is not a difficult one to do. It is better to use a mat or a thick blanket or towel to protect your knees, but don’t worry too much if you don’t have any of those. It is such a good one because it extends and flexes the spine. Start on all fours with your hands on the floor aligned with your shoulders and your hips lined with your knees.
Read our guide on the Best Yoga Mat For Bad Knees
Take a long breath and when you exhale, round your spine as much as you can and bring your shoulders close to your ears. This is the cat position. When you inhale again, open up your chest and lifting your head and tailbone much as possible. This is the cow position. Repeat for three to four minutes.
Downward facing dog
The downward-facing dog position is great to stretch your legs and calves, and tight legs can lead to lower back pain. It also requires us to pay extra attention to the spine and keep it straight and that is great for the pain. The best thing to do is to start with the child’s pose and work your way up. Do that by pressing your hands on the floor and lifting your whole body.
Keep your feet and hands on the ground and your spine and knees straight. If that is too hard you can slightly bend your knees and work a stretch.
Stand forward bend
From downward-facing dog, “walk” your hands little by little on the floor closer to your body. Keep your torso down and your spine straight. Keep your chin tucked into your body and relax your shoulders, as they can tense up without you noticing. This can be quite hard if you are not used to it, so feel free to bend your knees a little bit if you need it.
Remember that is all about feeling better, not worse and don’t force your body too much. Stay in this position for three minutes (or as long as you can), and keep inhaling and exhaling deeply.
Have you ever seen a picture of a Sphinx? Well, that is exactly what you are going to look like doing this pose. It tones the spine, stimulates the lumbar arch, and encourages the natural curvature of our back. For those reasons, the Sphinx is one of the best positions in yoga for lower back pain. Start by laying on your stomach with your feet apart and lined with your hips.
Bring your forearms on the floor while lifting your torso. Your arms should be on a 90-degree position and your head lifted and staring straight. Press your hips on the floor and don’t lift them. Stretch your back like this but stop immediately if you feel any pain. It should be a relief, not a chore.
Knees to the chest (plus slow rock)
This is another easy pose that your back will be thankful for. lie on the floor on your back, and bring your knees towards your body. Hug them and hold them with your arm, and rock them left and right slowly. It feels like a self-massage and you can do it for as long as you want.
Reclined Supine Twist
This is a great pose for fast relief if you are feeling a lot of pain right now. Lie on your back again and hug your knees close to your body. Drop your knees to one side while twisting your spine and looking to the other side. Try to keep your back as still as possible while doing that. Stay for a couple of minutes and repeat for the other side. It should provide some relief right away and become a staple for your yoga for lower back pain practice.
Thread the needle
Tight hips put more strain into the back. If the hips are tights, they are not going to be able to move right, and our backs will pick up the slack (and start to hurt). To fix that, open up your hips and hamstrings with the Thread the needle position. Lie on the floor on your back again, this time folding your knees and placing the soles of your feet to the ground.
Place your left ankle on your right thigh. Then, hug your right thigh with both hands, one coming from the outside and the other from the gap in between legs. Interlace the fingers for a more steady position and always remember to relax your shoulders.
If you are in pain, there is nothing wrong with trying these positions for help. They are all relatively low impact positions and are safe for the majority of people. Yoga is a millennial art and science, and their poses each focus on a part of the body.
Yoga for lower back pain is one of the best ways to remedy pain in the short and long term, and you don’t need any props or too much knowledge to do them. Whenever you feel pain, just lie on the ground and practice these simple poses. Your back will feel amazing.