No one understands back pain until they have suffered from it. Back pain is extremely debilitating and can impact people of all ages. Though older adults are more likely to suffer, young people, especially those that were injured or live an active lifestyle, are also subject back issues.

A number of different factors including bulging disk, damaged sciatica, muscle strain, or even arthritis can cause pain and limit functionality. No matter the reason, it can interrupt everyday tasks and responsibilities. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure. However, many people experience relief with the regular practice of a few simple yoga poses. Here are five yoga poses to try if you experience chronic back pain.

1. Cat-Cow 

This pose is gentle, slow and will stretch and mobilize the spine. To do this:

  • Get on all fours and place your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips.
  • Next, balance your weight evenly on all four points and inhale as you let your stomach drop.
  • Exhale as you tuck your chin into your chest and draw your belly button into your spine while arching your back.

2. Downward Dog

Another great pose that will stretch and mobilize the spine, downward dog is especially effective for people experiencing sciatica pain. To do this:

  • Get on all fours, place your hand in alignment under your wrists and your knees under your hips.
  • Then press into your hands, tuck your toes under and lift your knees up. 
  • Bring your sitting bones toward the ceiling, keep a slight bend in your knees and lengthen your spine and tailbone.
  • Continue pressing firmly into your hands and keep your head in line with your upper arms.

3. Cobra

It’s important to do this pose correctly so that you don’t end up hurting your back more as the cobra pose puts pressure on your sciatica. This pose will also help you if you are suffering from a slipped disc. To do this:

  • Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your fingers facing forward.
  • Draw your arms in tightly to your chest making sure that your elbow does not go to the side.
  • Next, press into your hands and slowly lift your head, chest, and shoulders while still maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Make sure you release your back to your mat as you exhale. 

 4. Locust 

The locust pose is a great pose to strengthen your back and prevent further injury. To do this:

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms next to your torso and your palms facing up.
  • Make sure that your big toes are touching and that your heels are to the side.
  • Then, place your forehead slightly on the floor and lift your head, chest, and arms.
  • If you want to deepen the pose, lift your legs and interlace your fingers behind your back.

5. Bridge

This backbend pose is restorative and stimulating. Not only does this backbend work to strengthen the spine and glutes, but it can also relieve headaches. To do this:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels drawn into your sitting bones.
  • Rest your arms next to your body and press your feet and arms into the floor as you lift your tailbone up.
  • Lift until your thighs are parallel to the floor and either go up and down for a minute or hold this pose for a minute (or as long as you can).

If you are suffering from back pain, add these yoga poses to your daily routine. Take your practice a step further by signing up for online virtual classes with Project Yoga Richmond or access recorded offerings anytime through their Patreon page


About the Author
Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She currently works and writes for Pennswood Village, a retirement community in PA.  She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

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