Back pain is the single leading cause of disability preventing people from performing their daily activities. It is the most common cause for absenteeism at work and the reason to visit the doctor!
Back pain affects people of all ages from adolescents to the elderly. About 60% of back pain sufferers today belong to the age group of 20 – 40 years.
The back is an intricate and interconnected network of bones, nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles. So the problems are also myriad such as sprains, strains, ruptures, spasms all of which we identify as back pain. Sometimes even the simplest movement of bending down to pick up something can result in pain. Apart from this, arthritis, bone loss, obesity, poor posture, sitting for long hours, mental stress can also cause or augment your back pain. Backache can also result from other problems in the body such as kidney disease, blot clots and so on.
Let us first understand the structure of our back. Knowing how the back works or why does it react in a certain way, will help prevent injuries and help speed up recovery.
The spine is the root of the human body. The spine keeps us upright and connects the different parts of our body to each other – our head, shoulders, chest, pelvis, arms and legs. Though it is made up pf a chain of bones, it is flexible due to the ligaments and the spinal discs.
Our spine carries the weight of our head, torso and arms. It allows our body to move in every direction. It absorbs jolts and shocks while protecting the spinal cord and the spinal nerves. The optimal functioning of the spinal cord is very important as it controls the function of every single cell, tissue and organ of the body.
Hippocrates, the great Greek physician recognised the importance of the spine to our health saying, ‘Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases’.
The good news is that most causes of back pain are mechanical and full recovery is possible. However reoccurrence is common and for a small percentage it is chronic.
Regular practice of Yoga is a very effective and safe way to reduce and prevent back problems.
Physical benefits of Yoga for back pain :
Strength : many of the Asanas in Yoga gently strengthens the back and core muscles. Regular practice will help in posture alignment and conditioning of the muscles. This can prevent back issues to a large extent.
Flexibility : Stretching is especially important for people with lower back pain. Stretching the hamstring helps to open up the pelvis and reduces the stress on the lower back.
The stretching and relaxing postures of Yoga helps relieve the tension and stress from the muscles promoting relaxation, better range of motion and flexibility in muscles and joints. Besides, stretching increases the blood flow and helps to flush out toxins from the body.
Breath : Breathing is a very important and integral part of a Yoga practice. Deep and controlled breathing makes the practice more effective, helping in better blood circulation and relaxation of the muscles.
Posture Alignment : Yoga helps to stretch and strengthen both sides of the body equally. With regular practice of Asanas along with controlled breathing will help improve your posture and proper alignment of the head, shoulder and the pelvis. This will help to maintain the natural curvature of the body and prevent back pain.
Mindfulness : Regular practice of Yoga promotes self – awareness. This will help you correct your posture and align your body at all times preventing stress or injuries of the back.
Mental benefits of Yoga :
Mental and emotional stress can influence or magnify the back problems. Pranayama and meditation will help to relax your body and mind. It will dissipate stress and anxiety and help relieve and even prevent back pain caused due to psychological stress.
YogUrja’s Yoga for Back pain, is a unique therapeutic Yoga program which includes
- Safe and simple Asanas for flexibility and strengthening of the muscles.
- Improving the core strength
- Posture alignment and balancing
- Breathing techniques and meditation for stress relief
A highly effective and unique addition to our therapeutic back pain relief program is INVERSION THERAPY.
What is Inversion Therapy?
Like on all objects, gravity affects our body too. Gravity pulls muscles, joints and organs downwards, compressing them against the spine. Most people today have sedentary lifestyles and long hours at the desk without active movement. This can lead to poor circulation and posture, disk compression all of which leads to back problems. Inversion therapy helps in circulation and movement in our body.
Inversion therapy is practised using a traction table, on which a user can secure himself and remain in an inverted position for a few minutes. This will alleviate pressure from the spine and increase the space between the vertebrae. It also aids to align the spine. It also helps stretch the muscles around the spine and relieve tension. It is beneficial for people with
- Chronic lower back pain
- Poor circulation
Our Yoga for Back Pain series with Asanas, Pranayama, meditation and Inversion therapy has proved beneficial to scores of people who attend our classes. Read about their experiences in their testimonials.