Yoga for chronic lumbar pain

The spine is one of the most important structural units in the body. It supports and protects information bearing nerves that run from the brain to the rest of the body. It also supports the torso, dictates movements and maintains posture. Given the burden it holds on a daily, it goes through a considerable wear and tear. Add to this poor posture and unhealthy lifestyles, and back pain tends to be a fairly common ailment.

Most back pain is concentrated at the lower region, the lumbar region. This pain may be caused due to herniated disc, muscle strain, scoliosis, sciatica, etc. Chronic lumbar pain can have a debilitating effect on the body. In extreme cases, patients have to resort to surgery. However making some lifestyle changes and adopting a therapeutic regime like yoga can help ease the pain.

Yoga is an ancient healing practice. It incorporates gentle postures which strengthen the muscles through a series of effective stretching and twisting movements which strengthen the spine. Yogic breathing or pranayama, teach you how to breathe properly and to lung capacity. This allows for a fresh flow of oxygen to the body. This eases tension in the muscles, releases stress and anxiety and flushes out the toxins accumulated in the region.

Practice the following lumbar pain exercise to alleviate pain:

Yoga poses are gentle and therapeutic. They are effective in easing lumbar disc pain. Postures like mountain pose, half spine twist, cat pose, the triangle and cobra pose all help nurse and strengthen the spine back to health.
  • Triangle Pose – This yoga posture incorporates stretching and twisting which helps build strength in the lower back and removes tension. The posture begins in the downward dog position. Move left foot and left hand forward. Keep body weight on the front foot. Make sure the spine is straight as you twist your upper back towards the left. Raise your right arm and follow the movement with your head. Hold this posture for a few minutes. Repeat on the other side.
  • Child’s Pose – This yoga posture also helps stretch the spine and relieves the back off stress and fatigue. Begin by kneeling down and sitting on your feet. Keeping hands by your side slowly lean forward and rest forehead on the floor. Now stretch your arms forward and place them by your side with palms facing upwards. Hold the pose and repeat.
  • Cobra Pose – This yoga posture is very effective for backaches. Begin by lying on the stomach with your head resting on your lower arms. Slowly, using your arms, push your body up. As you rise, raise your head too. Push your body as far back as you can without moving the lower body. Hold the pose and repeat.
In case of lower lumbar pain, consult a trained yoga teacher before embarking on any exercise. When done correctly they help to ease back pain, but if done wrongly it can aggravate the injury to the back.