Yoga for Back and Neck Pain. If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, we encourage you to consult your primary health care provider before undertaking any physical intervention or exercise. Yoga is a savior for countless people worldwide who have a history of or are currently suffering from severe or chronic back pain.
The American Chiropractic Association estimates that approximately 80% of the world’s population will experience back pain at some stage of their lives. Furthermore, it is the single leading cause of disability globally.
What triggers neck and back pain?
The back and neck are a complicated system of bones (vertebrae), ligaments, muscles, spinal discs, and other complex structures that act as the body’s central framework.
This complex network of bones and tissues house and protect your nervous system, your brain’s connection to the rest of the body.
The basic structure of an adult back and neck are made up of:
- 24-vertebrae (33-in newborns)
- 23-vertebral discs
- 40-back muscles
- 26-neck muscles
- 31-pairs of spinal nerves
- Ligaments, tendons and more
The back is a triumph of biological design, and it is a miracle that it works so reliably, even though back pain is common.
The vertebrae are separated into three sections
- Seven cervical bones in the neck
- Twelve thoracic bones in the upper to mid-back
- Five lumbar vertebrae in the lower back into the hips
A major cause of back pain is spinal compression, which, in simplified terms, causes nerve impingements along the spine.
These impingements can cause nerve signal impedance and create imbalances in bodily operations, like muscle function, balance, organ operations and much more.
Likewise, muscle tension, injury, sprains, strains, and other factors can also cause severe back and neck pain.
Yoga Poses for Back Pain and Neck Pain
Yoga for Back and Neck Pain. If you have been given the all-clear from serious injuries or conditions and have yet to try Yoga to address your stiff, tight, painful back and neck, then read on.
While the more profound philosophies of Yoga, like Pranic energy and pathways to spiritual enlightenment, may not have the full support of the medical science community, So doing yoga for upper back pain and neck, the physical benefits of Yoga are no longer debated.
Provided you are using the correct form, regular Yoga practice has been identified as one of the best things you can do to treat back pain, especially lower back pain, by such prestigious medical institutions as Harvard.
So why is Yoga so effective and treating or soothing and treating back pain? The answer is that Yoga addresses several contributing factors, including, but not limited to:
- Poor flexibility
- Poor range of movement
- Poor posture
- Poor core and muscle strength
- Mental and physical tension
It is no wonder why Yoga has stood the test of time as humanity’s oldest recorded form of physical therapy for back and neck pain; it has been developed and practiced for an estimated 5000-years.
Yoga Moves for Back and Neck Pain
Although there are countless yoga asanas over many different Yoga and movement practices worldwide, some common postures are especially good for treating back and neck pain. Read on to learn about our top three.
One of the best yoga asanas for treating general back pain is a two-phase flowing asana called cat-cow, or Marjaryasana to Bitilasana in Sanskrit.
Cat-cow works a wide range of back muscles along the whole spine, including:
- Erector spinae
- Rectus abdominis
- Serratus anterior
- Gluteus maximus and more
The cat-cow pose also works the entire spine, promoting optimal movement between the vertebrae and releasing pressure around the vertebral discs, reducing nerve pressure.
To learn how to perform the cat-cow asana, click on this link.
The downward-facing dog is a staple asana of most yoga practices and can aid in stretching muscles, loosening joints and reducing tension all over the body.
A common complaint regarding lower back pain is tension or impingement of the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back into the glutes and down to the calves, creating a painful condition known as sciatica.
When you perform the downward-facing dog, you stretch a wide range of muscles that contribute to lower, mid and upper back pain, including the hamstrings where the sciatic nerves run down the legs.
To learn how to perform the downward facing dog asana, follow this link.
Child’s pose is another staple asana that works the whole back. However, many Yoga practitioners feel the most relief in the neck and shoulders.
The relaxed nature of the child’s pose has an amazingly calming effect on the tight, stiff, sore neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles.
When these major muscle groups stretch and relax, it can take a lot of pressure off the cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae.
The child’s pose utilizes a full-body gentle rocking movement, which relieves pressure and tension in the mid and lower back and the hips and pelvis.
To see an example of how to execute the child’s pose asana, click this link.
Yoga Aids for Back Pain
Yoga for Back and Neck Pain. The best part of starting a yoga practice for your back pain is that you need very little, if any, equipment to get started.
However, some pieces of affordable equipment can help you progress in your yoga practice more safely by providing added support during your training, especially when treating or recovering from back pain.
Yoga for Back and Neck Pain. Items to consider adding to your home Yoga studio include:
- A quality yoga mat for comfort
- Yoga blocks for added support
- Yoga straps to aid in holding stretches
- A yoga wheel for spinal flexibility
For all your Yoga needs, head over to Yogamasti today and check out their extensive range of Yoga equipment and apparel.
The team here at My Free Yoga is passionate about helping others on their Yoga journey to feel free from pain and live their best life. So if you want to keep on top of all the latest in the world of Yoga, then why not sign up for our mailing list?
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Disclaimer: This information should not replace proper medical assessment and diagnosis.