If you have back pain issues, practice yoga. This might sound surprising, but yoga can actually soothe the pain and reduce your reliance to pain medications. This is especially true with lower back problems. This ancient practice does its magic by improving your flexibility, strength, and stretching capacity.

Yoga may not be the right solution if you have chronic or severe pain issues. However, for moderate to occasional back pain, certain yoga postures may prove to be beneficial. Yoga can help strengthen and stretch your back muscles, lengthen your spine, and promote proper alignment. Yoga’s emphasis on steadiness and balance aids the body in developing natural defenses against the common causes of back pain. By stretching and strengthening your muscles, you improve posture. This reduces the load off your back and in turn prevent or relieve back pain. Increased flexibility due to stretching poses will also increase natural blood flow to the tight muscles.

With the benefits of yoga in mind, here are some yoga poses that help relieve back pain:

Downward Facing Dog

This is a classic yoga pose which targets the hamstring. It is a total body stretch with emphasis on the larger muscles that support the spine and lower back. To do this, start on your hands and knees. Then raise your knees slowly away from the floor while pressing back. Lift the tailbone upward. You may also push your heels gently toward the floor. This will provide added hamstring stretch. Hold this position for around five to ten breaths. Repeat the pose up to seven times.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a resting position type of pose. It serves as a great de-stressor, and helps elongate the back. A perfect simple active stretching before going to bed or after a long, tiring day. To do this, start on all fours, then bring your arms and stretch them in front of you. While doing this, sit back your butt muscles until they rest, but not touching, above your heels. Hold this position for around five to ten breaths. Repeat this pose for as many times as necessary until you are fully stretched and relaxed.

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Pigeon Pose

Unlike the first two poses, this pose is more challenging, especially for newbies. It works by stretching the hip rotators and flexors. Difficult as it may be, this pose is highly beneficial in providing pain relief. Start on all four with your feet together. Draw the left knee forward, turn it to the left. This places your left leg in a bent position and near perpendicular to your right leg. Hold this position for up to 10 breaths. Switch to the right side and repeat the same steps.

Sphinx Pose

This strengthens and stretches the lower back. To do this, lie on your stomach. Lift your chest forward and support your upper body with your forearms. Make sure that your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders. Press your pubic bone forward, to allow blood flow into your lower back. Hold this position for a maximum of three minutes.

Thread the Needle

Start by lying on your back. Bend both your knees and placed your feet flat on the ground. Bend your right knee and do a number four position. While doing this, keep your left ankle to your right thigh. Then lift your left foot into the air. Keep your left calf parallel to the ground. Slowly thread the right hand between your legs. Interlace the hands behind the left thigh. Hold this position for a maximum of three minutes. Then do the whole thing on the other side.

One important reminder when doing yoga poses. Take deep breaths. Try to relax as much as possible. Do not push it too hard. When doing poses and stretches, aim to find that balance, and to perform the steps as gently as possible. The yoga poses will not only provide relief, but will also help you improve your range of motion.

Yoga is helpful in relieving back pain. However, if the pain worsens or if it persists while you are doing the poses, do not continue. Better yet, ask a professional first before you try yoga. Take note that yoga is not recommended for chronic and severe back pain.

If you have back pain problems, especially if it is the persistent and chronic kind, seek immediate medical attention. Here at Arizona Pain and Spine Institute,we are always ready to look into your back pain problem. We’d like to help you find the appropriate remedies and relief. Your safety, comfort and wellness are important to use. Make an appointment with us today and we will unload the pain off your back.