Yoga has achieved its popularity in fitness because of the many benefits every yoga practice offers. Yoga not only strengthens the body but also keeps the mind at peace. Yoga involves different body postures and controlled breathing.
With the sedentary lifestyle most of us lead, back pain – acute or chronic – has become a common ailment. It may be because of sitting in one position for too many hours at work or because of the lack of exercise or other health conditions.
A recent study has shown that yoga is as effective as physical therapy for treating lower back pain. Let’s examine the details of the study.
Yoga Equivalent To Physical Therapy For Back Pain
Researchers conducted a study to know if yoga is an effective treatment for back pain.1 The subjects of the study included 320 adults suffering from chronic low back pain.
These subjects were randomly assigned to three groups that had different approaches to treating the ailment. Participants in group 1 were asked to attend yoga classes every week for three months. Subjects in group 2 had to visit a physical therapist while the participants in group 3 were provided education on how to treat back pain at home.
The results of the study showed that the subjects in group 1 and group 2 (yoga and physical therapy classes) had similar improvement in pain than the ones who received self-help education. Therefore, it can be concluded that yoga sessions are as effective as physical therapy for the treatment of low back pain.
3 Easy Yoga Poses To Ease Back Pain
If you are suffering from minor or chronic back pain, try to ease the pain with these easy yoga poses at home, preferably, under the guidance of a yoga instructor.
1. Marjariasana Or The Cat Pose
- Kneel on the floor and lean forward putting both your palms on the floor pointing forward.
- Keep your legs slightly apart and palms at shoulder length.
- Make sure your trunk is parallel to the ground and the thighs are vertical and straight. Place the lower leg and feet on the floor.
- Relax the body completely, making sure the shoulder and back muscles are relaxed.
- Now, exhale completely and let the belly go inward. At the same time, move your head inward between your shoulders. While doing this, your back will bend and arch upward.
- Now, inhale and arch your back in the opposite direction with the spine slightly bending downward. The head, neck, and shoulders should be arched backward as if you are looking up.
- Repeat the process as many times as possible with slow and deep breathing.
- This pose brings flexibility to your spine.
- It strengthens the wrist and shoulders.
- This pose tones the abdomen and improves digestion.
- If you have an existing severe back or neck-related problem, speak to your doctor before you try a yoga pose.
- With an existing back condition, it is always better to perform yoga with the help of a yoga instructor.
2. Shishuasana Or The Child’s Pose
- Sit on your heels, keeping the hips on your heels.
- Keep your knees hip distance apart and place your toes on the floor.
- Bend forward and place your forehead on the floor.
- Keep your arms beside your body and hands on the floor with the palms facing up. If this is uncomfortable, you can also extend your arms in front of you, palms facing the ground.
- Gently press the chest on your thighs.
- Slowly come back up to the initial position.
- This pose can relax your back.
- It can also relieve constipation.
- This pose can also calm down the nervous system.
- This pose should be avoided in case of severe back or knee injuries.
- Pregnant women should avoid practicing this pose.
- If you are suffering from or recently recovered from diarrhea, it is best to avoid this pose.
3. Trikonasana Or The Triangle Pose
- Stand with your feet comfortably apart.
- Raise both your hands sideways till they are horizontal and straight.
- While exhaling, slowly bend to the right side with your right hand just behind the right foot and the left hand straight up in line.
- Remain in this posture for 10 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level.
- Breathe normally.
- As you inhale, slowly come back up to the initial position.
- Repeat the same steps for the opposite side.
- This pose can reduce back pain, anxiety, stress, and sciatica.
- It strengthens the legs, knees, arms, ankles, and chest.
- It also stretches and opens the hips, calves, hamstring muscles, shoulders, chest, and spine.
- Avoid this pose if you are suffering from a migraine, diarrhea, low or high blood pressures, and neck and back injuries.
|↑1||Yoga, Physical Therapy, or Education for Chronic Low Back Pain. Annals of Internal Medicine.|