Back Pain comes in a variety of forms, from a herniated disc to sciatica, from whiplash to just over doing it at the computer and everything in between. We will, most likely, all suffer from some sort of back pain at some point in our lives and there is no doubting that it can really get you down!
Popping pain killers is fine in the short term but it doesn’t solve the issue so much as mask it, plus it can wreak havoc with your liver and kidneys! Trips to the physiotherapist and Chiropractor are also a superb way to help alleviate back pain and should be your first port of call! But once you’ve done a few sessions with a chiropractor or physiotherapist they are more than likely to suggest that you start doing some sort of pilates or yoga. Now I don’t know a lot about pilates so if that sounds more like your thing, please go ahead and find a class near you but if you’d like to know more about how yoga can help, please keep reading!
Yoga is great! I know I would say that because I am a Yoga Instructor, but its true yoga calms the mind, stretches and tones the body and if you choose a power yoga class, it even adds a little dash of cardio! But what can it really do for your aching back?
In short: Yoga can help you elongate the spine, re-align the shoulders, improve your core stability and re-align the hips; all of which makes a happy back!
Most importantly, Yoga focuses on the whole body not one part. Think of yourself as a jenga tower, now take a piece of that jenga out from the bottom. To start with the tower stays straight but as you rearrange the blocks more and more, soon the tower begins to lean and in some cases topple from higher up. It is the same scenario if you injure your knee for example: now your patella might be slightly in the wrong place, making your hip very slightly wonky, putting strain on your lower back, all the way up to your occipitals in your skull… and all of that from a bit of a twinge in your knee!
By improving your posture generally, yoga can slowly, (don’t expect miracles in the first session), realign your whole body and by doing so take the pressure of your back and shoulders. Plus all that core stability really helps to strengthen your back, taking a lot of strain off the spine.
So what poses should you focus on, to relieve back pain? Well it really depends exactly what is wrong with your back and how painful it is. A general rule is to start slowly. Planks are great for core stability, triangle poses gently release the spine, child pose and some cat/cows can really help to loosen up the shoulders and relax the spine. Please be aware if it genuinely hurts whilst you are doing any of the afore mentioned poses, stop and go back to a medical professional to seek further advice, I am not a doctor.
In most cases the answer to our original question, Can Yoga Help To Alleviate Your Back Pain?, is yes. Just take it slowly, don’t expect miracles to happen in one or even three sessions and keep it up! In the majority of most less serious back pain cases, you will slowly start to notice differences in your upper body mobility and pain levels …. but please check with your medical consultant before trying yoga!
And most importantly, enjoy!