If you suffer from chronic back pain, your doctor may have encouraged you to participate in some exercises for back pain. The yoga poses here will help to strengthen the muscles of your back, thereby being effective in both the treatment and prevention of current and future back pain.
1. Down Dog
Down Dog is probably one of the most well known yoga poses. Aside from being one of the staples of a traditional yoga workout, down dog can be very effective in helping in both the treatment and prevention of chronic back pain. In order to properly perform down dog, start by coming onto all fours on the ground. Make sure that your hands are spaced evenly directly below your shoulders, and your knees are below your hips. Your shins and feet should be resting comfortably on the ground. Take a few deep breaths. As you exhale, curl your toes under so they are now flat on the ground, and push your knees off the ground. Your body should now be forming a pyramid, with only your hands and feet on the ground, and your buttocks extended towards the sky. Hold this pose for at least 20 seconds, take a short break, and do another repetition of down dog.
Plank is another popular yoga pose that can help treat and prevent chronic back pain. As with down dog, start this pose by coming onto all fours on the ground or on your yoga mat. Make sure that your hands are placed directly under your shoulders, with your fingers spread widely apart. Take a deep breath, and as you do so, use the muscles in your lower back to lift your knees off the ground. Step your feet slightly backwards, so that your are now in a “push up” position. At this point, only your hands and feet should be on the ground, and your body should be in a straight line from your feet to your head. Be sure to keep the muscles of your lower back engaged, preventing your stomach from sagging toward the ground. Hold this pose for at least 20 seconds, take a short break, and do another repetition of plank.
Camel pose is a slightly more challenging pose that focuses on strengthening the muscles of the back. Start by coming onto both knees in the center of your yoga mat. Allow your arms to hang by your sides, and stretch your head towards the sky. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply for a minute or two. Slowly reach your right arm behind your back, until it touches your right heel. Rest your hand on your heel, and transfer your weight to your hand. Hold this pose, keeping your left hand hanging by your side. For more of a challenge, reach your left hand behind your back, and place it on your left heel. Now both hands should be firmly placed on both heels. Hold this pose for 20 seconds, relax and repeat.