Back pain is becoming very common these days for which most people seek medical help. It can range from a dull constant ache to sudden sharp pain or just a pinching sensation from the lower back going all the way down to the legs.
What are the common causes of back pain?
- Physically unfit: To get proper spinal stability, it is important to have good core strength and flexibility. The core refers to all the muscles around the torso that includes the abdominal muscle, lower back, upper back muscles etc. All of these can be activated by regularly doing some kind of physical practice and Yoga is something that focuses on building both strength and flexibility of these muscle groups thereby improving the safe range of motion of this joint.
- Weight Gain: Our lower spine bears a lot of weight throughout the day during our normal activities like sitting, standing, walking etc. In case of weight gain especially in the abdominal area, the body weight is not balanced equally throughout the spine which might lead to extra compression of the lower back and result in pain.
- Job-related risk factors: If the jobs include heavy weight lifting or any activity that may cause continuous jerk to the lower back will eventually lead to injury. On the other hand, if someone is at a desk job, the long sitting hours will also lead to compression of the lower back which should be stretched and released.
- Age and genetic factors: The bone density starts reducing after a certain age which leads to disc degeneration. An active lifestyle will help in maintaining healthy bone density. Sometimes, the back pain may be due to genetic factors like improper spinal structure which needs to be taken care of before it gets worse.
Below are some postures that can release lower back compression and help you give some relief:
- Jathara Parivartanasana (Supinal Twist):
- Lie on your back
- Bend your right knee and bring it close to your chest
- Hold your right knee with your left palm
- Take your right knee to the left side while pressing right shoulder down to the mat
- Stay here for couple of breath
This asana will help to release the compression from the Lower back muscles and also create some space in the overall spine
- Janu shirshasana (Knee to head seated forward fold)
- Sit in Dandasana (Staff pose)
- Bend your right knee and drop it down to the right side
- Create 90 degree angle between right and left leg
- Slightly twist upper body towards left side and bend forward
- Touching the head to the knee (janu shirshasana) and slightly hunching the upper back
- Raise yourself all the way up
- Repeat this from the other side
This asana will help to release the compression from the lower back muscles and relax the entire back side of the body
- Parighasana (Gate pose)
- Sit on the mat with the legs wide open in front of you
- Turn upper body towards the right side and bend forward on the right leg
- Shift your right hand inside the right leg and hold the inner arch of right foot with right hand
- Take the left hand over head and try to touch the outer arch of the right foot with left hand.
- Keep twisting towards left and open the left chest out
This asana if performed correctly is very beneficial for someone who is into long sitting job as it releases the tension from the back due to continuous seated posture and also provides a nice side body stretch
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
- Lie on your abdomen with your head touching the mat, feet pointed back and tailbone tucked down
- Place the palms beside your chest
- Pressing gently on your palms slowly lift your chest forward and up
- Elbows can be slightly bent and look front.
- Stay here for 10 counts and breathe normally
- Slowly come all the way down
- Repeat this for 3 – 5 times
This asana will help to mobilise the spinal extension and also help to strengthen the back muscles
- Setu bandhasana (bridge pose)
- Lie on your back and bend the knees
- Slowly pressing on the elbows lift the hips off the floor
- Lift the chest off the floor
- You can interlace the fingers behind the back to get the strong lift of hips off the floor
- Stay here for couple of breath
- Slowly drop the hips down
This asana helps to strengthen the glutes and hip extension along with the spine which provides good spinal stability
Apart from the above mentioned exercises, one should regularly practice spinal mobility as a part of either warm up or stretching to ensure healthy and supple spine.