5 Steps to Back Pain Relief
Back pain. Whether it’s tense neck and shoulder muscles or low back and sacrum pain, most of us have experienced the discomfort of a sore back at some point in our lives. For some of us, unfortunately, the pain rarely goes away.
Does yoga help relieve back pain? I get that question frequently and can speak from personal experience when I say “yes” yoga definitely helps. I have had low back and sacrum issues on and off for years. It gets especially bad when I’m really stressed or doing too much sitting. My personalized yoga practice keeps it under control and is much better for me than reaching for that ibuprofen bottle.
Following are some suggested steps that can give you some relief:
- Observation: You’ve heard me say this a zillion times … yoga is about bringing your attention inward and observing without So, the first step in dealing with your back is observing what triggers your pain. The next time there’s a flare up, ask yourself what is going in your life physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Try to find connections. It may take a few times to figure it out so be patient with yourself as you observe and analyze.
- Stand-up: “Why Sitting Just Might Kill You” That’s the title of an article in a special Newsweek issue on our body and the secrets to a long and healthy life. It certainly grabs your attention.
There is a lot of current research being done on the health perils of sitting too long. In addition to being linked to a variety of diseases, it’s the cause of some back problems. Too much sitting shortens hip flexors, overly relaxes glutes and puts excessive pressure on your low back.
Depending on our jobs and lifestyles, most of us sit too much. I know people who have modified their desks so they can stand more. And, a few brief moments of yoga movement will definitely help.
- Forward Bending: Forward bends can be an effective way to relieve low back pain because their primary purpose is to stretch that area. Click Got a backache? Try Forward Bending for a blog post I did on standing forward bends.
Take a break from sitting and use this movement to increase circulation and stretch your body. And, as an additional benefit, you’ll get fresh oxygen and blood into your brain, enhancing mood and cognition.
- Back-bending: Backbends are expansive and a wonderful way to open your chest and reverse the affects of being hunched over a computer or mobile device. Click Backbends to Recharge Your Batteries for a blog post I did on using standing backbends. Again, it’s a great way to take a break from sitting. If you want to combine #3 and #4 into a short practice that is very doable. Do the backbend (#4) first then the forward bend (#3).
- Seated Movement: Location and space may make it impossible to do the poses standing but your body and mind still need to stretch and re-energize. Click Yoga to Reverse Computer Slump for my blog on a seated backbend that helps reduce shoulder and neck tension. You could also add a seated forward bend using the same process as in #3 above.
Our bodies were designed for movement much more than for sitting. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle encourages more sitting than moving and research indicates we are paying a price.
Try these little stretch breaks and observe if your back is in better shape over time.
Enjoy and Breathe Easy,
Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
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