Take a step ahead for your health with these yoga poses to prevent back pain.
By Basic Spine Staff
These days, it seems as if nearly everyone complains about back pain at some point in their lives. We’ve all heard that keeping a strong core is essential for optimal spine health, but outside of sit-ups and crunches, what else is there?
Well actually, there are many other options that strengthen the core better than the standard sit-up could and will also target other lesser-known areas that cause back pain (such as the hamstrings).
Even if you are young or healthy, these poses are still fantastic for preventative measures. Plus, you’ll also reap the benefits of increased flexibility, strength building, and an overall relaxed state of mind. Here are some yoga poses you can add into your sequence to prevent back pain:
Downward Facing Dog
This is one of the most well known yoga poses for a reason. This compound movement not only helps stretch out the cervical spine, but it also gives a good stretch to the hamstrings, calves, and ankles. This pose will also strengthen your shoulders and force you to engage your core to stabilize.
The opposite motion of downward dog, this pose will open your chest, engage abdominal muscles, and engage your back. In this pose, you should tense your thighs and keep them lifted off the ground. If this creates too much pressure on your back, you can lower your thighs down to cobra pose for similar benefits.
Hip mobility is important when it comes to spine health, and this is one of the best yoga poses to work on opening up the hips. If you happen to sit for many hours of the day, this pose will be extremely beneficial for you. The key to this pose is remembering to keep your hips level (don’t lean on one side) and only go as far to where you feel a good stretch–you should never feel pain in yoga, ever!
This pose will also work at opening the hips, stretches the hamstrings, opens the chest, and engages the core. You should keep your legs straight and absolutely do not need to touch the floor. Let your hand fall wherever you feel a stretch, which can be anywhere from your thigh to the ground. Make sure that your chest remains open and doesn’t cave into facing the floor. Your gaze should remain up towards the sky to ensure that your chest is open and your core is engaged.
Plank & Side Plank
One of the top core exercises to complete (and really, one of the only ones you’ll ever need) is the plank. Both the plank and the side plank are amazing poses for core strength and posture. If you cannot hold the pose for a long amount of time, that’s perfectly fine! Try to hold it for as long as you can and gradually add on a few seconds each time to challenge yourself.
Cat and Cow
The cat and cow stretch is especially amazing as a morning wake-up stretch. Exhale as you round your spine up and tuck your tailbone in, and inhale as you bring your belly closer to the ground and shoulder blades together. This movement will help with balance, will strengthen and stretch the spine and neck, and massage organs in the body.
Seated Spinal Twist
This pose is great for improving posture and spine mobility since it forces you to sit up straight. The movement will also stretch the spine from lower back to the neck and stimulate the inner organs as you twist.
Before you plunge into this new routine, it is always recommended (as with any type of exercise) to contact your orthopedic doctor for exercise clearance – especially if you have been experiencing extreme back pain or have a diagnosed spine injury.