Yoga for upper back pain has proven to be very effective in helping to improve the pain experienced by patients who suffer from this condition. Upper back pain affects millions of people in the United States alone. While back pain can be a debilitating condition that makes it difficult to function, it is possible to get relief through the various treatment options available. However, it can be difficult to determine which yoga pose will be the best choice for you due to the wide variety of yoga poses that are currently on the market. In this article, we will outline some of the more popular yoga poses used to treat upper back pain:
Asana (Sitting and Stretching)
These yoga poses work to increase flexibility and range of motion in a particular joint. Specifically, the deep abdominal pose (called the lord of fishes in yoga circles) helps to decrease tension from a pinched nerve in the neck. The lord of fishes also helps to decompress the pelvis, which alleviates pressure in the Sacro-sacral region. These yoga poses are often used in conjunction with other poses such as the Sukhasana, or Warrior poses, to further increase their effectiveness.
Popularized by the great American surfer and actor Patrick Swayze, Hatha Yoga is a gentle, flowing series of poses that gently encourage stretching and strengthens muscles. These poses work to increase overall flexibility and range of motion. This can make them particularly effective for lower back discomfort. This style of yoga requires both breathing control and strong concentration. It is important to remember that these poses should not be done too slowly. This can cause undue stress on the neck and shoulders.
Asana ( Breathing)
These yoga poses focus on inhaling from the diaphragm and relaxing the ribcage. For this reason, they are best practiced with a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Asana also increases the flow of oxygen and blood through the body, which helps relieve stress. The most basic asana, Sarvangasana, is a simple position where the body is balanced on the floor with the knees bent and the upper torso parallels to the floor. Other more challenging asanas include Bikram Yoga, which requires students to stand in a still position for a certain amount of time, and Kundalini Yoga, which places students in a deep meditative position.
Brahmariasana ( Standing Forward Bend)
In this yoga pose, students must face the wall and bend the knee with the leg, using the fingers to support the knee and the arms to balance the torso. As the student inhales deeply, he/she must press the thigh against the abdomen. The next step is to exhale forcefully through the nose, while the arm is drawn up toward the shoulder. Repeat this sequence several times, resting in between each repetition.
Ashtanga ( Charging Tiger)
This is another great yoga posture for back pain that specifically targets the lower back muscles. Beginners may find this pose a bit challenging, especially when practicing it against a wall. In this pose, the student must raise his/her torso off the floor and hold a horizontal stick in front of him/her. After the stick is in the hands, the student must return to the ground and repeat the pose with the other hand.
The best poses to practice for lower or middle back pain conditions are supported bridges, crocodile twists, and twisting poses. It is important to note that it is important to stretch the spine before trying any of these yoga positions. A beginner could start by practicing supported bridge. With continual practice, the spine will be strengthened and the weight shifts to the opposite side, thus, eliminating back pain.
Yoga for pain relief can help improve circulation, strengthen the muscles and tendons and strengthen the spinal column. This will reduce the pain experienced by people suffering from different conditions. Most importantly, yoga helps strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, thereby helping you move more freely. These all help restore mobility and allow you to be more active than ever.