Curejoy Expert Dipti Mothay Explains:
Back pain is commonly caused and exacerbated by poor posture, poor physical conditioning facilitated by inactivity and internal disease, such as kidney stones, infections and blood clots. Though preventing back pain is surely easier than treating it, certain exercises do help in reversing chronic back pain.
Importance of Exercises for Back Pain
When done in a controlled, gradual, and progressive manner, active exercises for back pain distribute nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy. Consequently, a regular routine of exercises helps patients avoid stiffness and weakness, minimize recurrences, and reduce the severity and duration of possible future episodes of back pain.
Exercises for Reversing Back Pain
A recent study found that stretching is just as effective as yoga at reducing back pain. Stretching of any kind, whether static (you hold the pose) or dynamic (you move through a complete range of motion), can help improve flexibility and decrease back-pain risk and symptoms.
Pilates strengthens the core muscles that support the spine, decreasing your risk of injury. It also boosts flexibility, making it easier to move without pain. A small Canadian study found that patients with nonspecific lower-back pain who did a Pilates workout for 4½ hours a week reported significantly less pain and disability 1 year after starting the program than those who simply followed a doctor’s care.
Yoga combines stretching with strength and balance poses, which help shore up weak muscles and release tight ones. Yoga is also a stress reliever as tension can lead to a tight back. Some highly recommended yoga asanas for back pain are:
1. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Lie on the stomach, and keep legs together. Place the palms near the chest, pressing into the mat. Slowly lift your upper body and lift the head. Hold this pose 1 to 20 counts. Keep breathing.
2. Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
This pose helps strengthen the lower back. Lie on the belly, with arms on the side and forehead touching the mat. Extend your legs hip-width apart. While exhaling, lift your chest and arms. Lift your spine and reach your arms toward the feet. Use your inner thighs to lift your legs up toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for about a minute.
3. Bhekasana (Frog Pose)
Lie on the stomach and place both forearms on the floor parallel to the mat. Bend knees and point toes toward the ceiling. Stretch yours and grab both your feet. Lift chest and hold as high as you can for a few seconds.
4. Marjariasana (Cat Pose)
Get into table top position with hands and knees on the floor. Exhale while rounding your spine towards the ceiling. Release your head towards the floor, but avoid forcing the chin towards the chest.
5. Supta Matsyendrasana (Spinal Twist Pose)
Lie on your back. Bend knees and place soles of the feet on the floor. Lift hips slightly off the floor and shift to the right. Draw right knee into the chest and extend left leg. Drop the right knee to the left side of the body.