Yoga For Back Pain: Achieve Spinal Health Through Proper Practice
3 April 2021, Saturday
Most people aren’t aware of the benefits of yoga as a means of alleviating back pain. While it is true that practicing yoga can greatly enhance overall health, its role in developing the spine is underrated. This article will explore the various health benefits of proper yoga practice to prevent and ease back pain.
Understand the importance of a healthy spine
Why should I maintain a healthy spine? Having a strong backbone is important for two reasons:
The first is optimal organ function. The spine provides the structural support in which the organs of the body are nested in. If the spine is misaligned or chronically stressed, the normal operations of the body organs can also be disrupted.
Take for example, the lungs. If the spinal position is consistently compromised, the respiratory functions will also be affected. In turn, the body’s failure to inhale and utilize oxygen properly may lead to other health problems. And this is just one example – the spine has an impact on almost every important system in the body.
Better movement control is the second reason why you should develop a healthy spine. Wrong postural habits can take its toll on the back muscles and the areas surrounding them. Eventually, this could lead to other problems such as a frozen shoulder, stiff neck, or slipped discs. These injuries limit the range of movement and cause a lot of discomfort.
For these reasons, it is important to correct poor postures. Avoid long periods of sitting and slouching. Most importantly, implement proper lifting techniques to maintain the integrity of the spine. A good exercise regimen, such as yoga for back pain, can help avoid debilitating spinal injury, damage and deformity.
Dealing with lower back pain requires an understanding of overall spinal health
The truth is, lower back pain is one of the most common issues related to the spine. According to the World Health Organization, around 60% to 70% of the population experience a prevalence of lower back pain. This staggering statistic clearly shows how the habits and pressures of modern life can have a direct impact on spinal health.
Lower back pain is not an illness. Instead, it is an indication of your spine’s current condition. If you are constantly dealing with lower back pain, it means you have habits that are putting too much pressure on your backbone. Usually, this back pain can radiate to other parts of the body such as neighbouring muscles and even the pelvis. This may affect your kidneys and digestive processes as well.
You might ask, “Why would my lower back pain affect other parts of the body?”
The answer is simple. The backbone is one of the first body structures to grow during fetal development. In fact, it is used as a basis for dating and measuring the age of a fetus inside the womb. Later on, the spine eventually “branches out” and other body parts are formed. Naturally, when a major structure of the body is misaligned, other muscles and organs are affected.
Think of your body as a large piece of fabric – when you pinch an area of the fabric, folds and creases form, disturbing the smoothness of the areas surrounding it. Similarly, spinal health is linked to almost every major process or function in the body. You need to maintain this fundamental aspect of health through proper posture and exercise.
How yoga stabilizes the spine and why it works
We’ve mentioned earlier that yoga helps to improve spinal health, but how? It helps by strengthening and developing the muscles that support the back and spine. When these muscles are strong, there is less stress on the backbone. This leads to lower or zero incidence of back pain. Inconceivable, but true! It also helps to avoid all the complications mentioned in this article.
There are three groups of muscles that help stabilize the spine. All these muscles can benefit from a proper yoga routine:
First, there are the paraspinal muscles, also known as the erector spinae. These are threads of muscles found on the left and right side of your back. These muscles flank the spinous processes and help you bend your spine, arch your back, or lean forward.
It is very important to keep these muscles strong to maintain a good range of movement. In fact, if your paraspinal muscles are weak, you are at risk of developing serious back pain.
The second group of muscles are the multifidus muscles, and these stabilize your vertebrae. Multifidus spans the whole length of your spinal column. It goes all the way from your neck to the lumbar area or hips. Weakness in the multifidus muscles are typically associated with lower back pain.
And lastly, the third group of key muscles are the transverse abdominal muscles. These are muscles on the front of your abdomen, and run all the way to the sides. Although they are not located on your back, they are very important in stabilizing the vertebrae as well. A weak transverse abdominis can lead to a slouch that hurts the spine in the long run.
Thus, the reason why yoga works in stabilizing in the spine is that it strengthens all the key muscles that support the back.
Learn more about our safe and effective approach here at Real Yoga
You’ve just learned about the myriad of benefits in practicing yoga for back pain. But how do you get started?
Here at Real Yoga, you’ll find friendly faces to help you choose which classes are most suitable for you. Whether you’re a beginner, advanced practitioner or someone returning after a long hiatus, we have a class and an instructor who is the perfect fit for you.
Our mantra places safe practice as a top priority. You are here to experience healing and balance, not over-exertion and further injury! Our trained instructors will guide you into a safe yoga practice and show you how listen to your body.
As you gradually progress through your practice, you’ll find more balance in areas that previously caused tension and discomfort in the body. Often, you are holding these tension points unconsciously through postural habits. Our instructors help you identify these problem areas so you can adopt proper alignment in daily life, and not just during classes.
Claim your free consultation and trial session with one of our yoga consultants today. Your journey towards overcoming chronic back pain starts now.