Yoga is a form of exercise that is gentle enough to promote the healing of back pain without a significant risk of further injury. Hatha yoga in particular may help heal back pain by zeroing in on specific muscle groups. Many of the related poses also strengthen abdominal and hip flexor muscles. Santa Monica spine surgeons want to share 5 yoga poses that might help you find relief.
1. Supine Hamstring Stretch
Bend one knee to your chest while lying on your back. Place a strap or towel around the toes and arch (ball) of the outstretched foot. Lift the other knee if you get too much of a pull in your back.
While on your stomach, use your forearms to lift yourself up with your elbows beneath your shoulders. Assume a “cat-like” pose while pressing yourself to the ground with your toes and palms. Move your pelvic bone forward to stimulate increased blood flow to your lower spine.
3. Legs Up the Wall
Lay on the floor and place your legs up against an adjacent wall. This position naturally removes excess fluid from the feet and ankles while relaxing lower back muscles. The pose can be done after a workout or physical therapy routine to relax your lower spine.
Get on all fours and move one knee just behind the wrist on the same side while placing the lower leg diagonal to the other side. Extend your elbows, bend forward, and rest your forehead on your hands.
5. Two-Knee Twist
Rest on your back while extending both knees to your chest and stretch your arms out to your sides, then breathe deeply and slowly lower your knees. Hold the pose for a few minutes while keeping your shoulders down. Switch sides and repeat. The relaxation many people experience from yoga’s combination of carefully controlled moves and deep breathing exercises (pranayama) may further ease back pain by reducing stress and anxiety. Hold poses for as long as possible and take a break or see a board-certified back doctor in Santa Monica if your back pain gets worse. If yoga isn’t relieving your pain and other non-surgical solutions aren’t working either, you might want to consider minimally invasive back surgery. Santa Monica patients who have successfully managed their pain recommend getting in touch with The Spine Institute. Call Dr. Bae and schedule an appointment today at 310-858-7757.