Work Wellness

Ease Back Pain and Strengthen Your Back with These 7 Yoga Poses

Avatar of Karen Kimonye Karen Kimonye | Dec 28, 2020
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The American Chiropractic Association estimates that over 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is the number one leading cause of disability across the globe. This shows it’s crucial to take care of your back now before it changes your life permanently. Besides, maintaining a healthy diet and weight, exercising regularly, and maintaining proper posture, yoga is also an effective tool for preventing and easing back pain. Yoga is an ancient practice that can also strengthen your back.

According to a study published by NCBI, yoga is as effective as other non-pharmacologic treatments in mitigating the disability of back pain. It’s more effective in easing back pain severity or “discomfort” of CLBP when compared to normal care or no care. Here are 7 beginner-friendly yoga poses that target your back. These yoga poses can help you relieve back tension and pain, and they strengthen the muscles in your back. Do these poses regularly at your desk in the office, or the comfort of your home.

However, if you suffer from back problems already, consult your doctor first on whether it’s safe to practice yoga or any other physical activity.

1. Downward Facing Frog

Often, we experience lower back pain because the backs of our legs are very tight. Downward facing frog is a brilliant way to stretch your calves and hamstrings. If the backs of your legs are so tight, bend your knees a little to make the stretch comfortable. This yoga pose relieves back pain and sciatica.

Downward Facing Frog

To do this exercise:

  • Get on all fours and align your hands under your wrists and your knees under your hips.
  • Pressing into your hands, tuck your toes under, and lift your knees.
  • Raise your sitting bones towards the ceiling.
  • Maintain a slight bend in your knees and elongate your spine and tailbone.
  • Keep your heels slightly off the floor and press firmly into your hands.
  • Make sure you distribute your weight equally between both sides of your body and pay attention to the position of your hips and shoulders.
  • Align your head with your upper arms and tuck your chin slightly.
  • Hold this pose for 1 minute.

2. Extended Triangle

This pose can ease backache, neck pain, and sciatica. It stretches your hips, spine, and groin while strengthening your chest, shoulders, and legs. This pose also relieves stress and anxiety. Practicing this yoga pose works out your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus and medius, latissimus dorsi, and internal oblique.

Extended Triangle

To do this pose:

  • Stand up and keep your legs 4 feet apart.
  • Bring your right toes to face forward and keep your left toes outward at an angle.
  • Raise your arms parallel to the ground with your palms facing downwards.
  • Tilt forward and hinge at your right hip, then bring your arms and torso forward.
  • Bring your hand to your leg.
  • Lift your left arm towards the ceiling.
  • Look up, down, or forward.
  • Hold this pose for 1 minute and repeat on the opposite side.

3. Seated Forward Fold

This is an intense hamstring stretch that’s perfect for stretching your back, which relieves your lower back.

Seated Forward Fold

To do this yoga pose:

  • Sit on a mat and place your legs in front.
  • Breath in as you stretch up to lengthen your spine.
  • Breath out as you grab your big toes.
  • Do this until you feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Breathe fully as you elongate your spine.
  • Hold this pose for 1 minute.

4. Seated Side Twist

This yoga pose strengthens your back muscles and the soft tissues surrounding your spine.

seated side twist

To practice this yoga pose:

  • Sit up on your mat, and stretch your legs in front.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the floor away from your left thigh.
  • Stretch your left leg out in front of you, or bend it inwards.
  • Turn your torso to the right and wrap your left arm around your right leg.
  • Place your right hand on the mat behind the bottom part of your spine.
  • Hold this pose for 1 minute.

5. Supine Twist

This yoga pose stretches your back muscles and realigns your spine. If you already suffer from back pain, consider this pose because it will exercise all the muscles running along your spine. For office workers who sit at their desks all day, a supine twist is a must.

Supine Twist

To do this pose:

  • Lie on your back.
  • With your palms facing downwards, bring your arms to the sides in a “T” position.
  • Bending your left knee, bring your left foot on your right knee.
  • Drop your left knee over to the right side of your body, and twist your spine and lower back.
  • Keep your shoulders flat on the floor.
  • Hold this pose for 6–10 breaths.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

6. Upward facing Dog

This yoga pose strengthens your back and aligns your spine. This is essential because a spine out of alignment stresses other parts of your body, creating a domino effect.

Upward Facing Dog

To practice this pose:

  • Lie face-down on your mat and spread your legs a few inches apart.
  • Straighten your arms and raise your torso and legs a few inches off the floor.
  • Press your palms down onto the ground, then drop your shoulders and lift your chest forward.
  • Raise your thighs and legs off the ground.
  • Hold this for up to five breaths.
  • Bend your knees and slowly lower your torso and forehead to the floor.

7. Low Cobra Pose

This yoga pose reduces the stiffness on your lower back, increasing flexibility, strengthening your spine, and toning your gluteal muscles.

Low cobra pose

To do this pose:

  • Lie face-down on a mat with your legs a few inches apart.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing towards the top of the mat.
  • Press your feet onto the mat.
  • Lift your head and chest gently off the mat.
  • Bring your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Straighten your arms, then bring your chest off the mat and press the tops of your thighs down into the mat.

Final Thoughts

Back pain is an epidemic in modern society that will affect 8 in 10 people at some point in their life. Many people use pain killers and other pharmaceutical drugs to suppress back pain. But over time, the efficacy of the drugs wears off, and we’re left worse off.

However, with back pain, a better approach is prevention; by stretching the back and muscles around your spine to mitigate all forms of back injuries. Yoga offers a perfect beginner-friendly workout routine that strengthens your back and prevents back pain. If you’re already suffering from back pain, the low impact of a yoga routine can help soothe and quicken your recovery by bringing the needed nutrients, oxygen, and blood to the injured areas. To engage your core and improve your posture while sitting or standing, invest in an ergonomic office chair and a standing desk.

Start practicing these seven yoga routines today and reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

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WRITTEN BYKaren Kimonye

I'm a freelance writer who specializes in creating blog posts, and articles that build trust and compel readers to take the desired action.

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