Why yoga helps back pain? Because your breathing is used to stretch and strengthen the upper back. And the lower back is stretched and strengthen by ‘lengthening the spine’ using the hydraulic force created by the abdominal muscles.
The Spine and Rehab Group is providing treatment to the back pain of the people. There is complete relief available from different types of pain. The gathering of the information about them is essential for people.
If you go to a yoga class you will notice the instructor often says “breathe” or “lengthen”. This is more important to a chronic back pain sufferer than being able to bend and stretch in unusual ways since breathing and lengthening DOES stretch the back even while you are standing straight.
During your exercise routine your spine is stretched then released then stretched again and released again and again and again and again just like an accordion. This is done using your own body strength nothing else is needed. This stretches and strengthens the back.
When you practice yoga one of the most important parts is your breathing and there is a reason.
- You move to a pose you breathe in.
- You move to another pose you breathe out
- You move to another pose you breathe in
- You move to another pose you breathe out
This breathe in then breathe out alternatively. What it does is stretch and strengthen the muscles of the upper back. As explained elsewhere opening the thoracic box to breathe stretches the spine and muscles related to it. The change in volume of the thorax changes the length of the spine.
The same thing happens to the lower back. As explained elsewhere in this website. The body uses the abdominal muscles to create hydraulic pressure that separates the pelvic floor from the diaphragm and by doing so it also separates the vertebrae in the lower back. What this does is stretch and strengthen the muscles of the lower back at the same time.
This lengthening of the spine then releasing then lengthening again has the benefit of opening the gaps between the vertebrae. As you know (and probably can feel it too) back pain in most cases is due to some muscles too tight and others too weak. In this way yoga relieves that feeling of tightness and back pain. Notice that this lengthening of the spine can be done anywhere not just in yoga. For example it can be done while you are reading this!
One thing to remember is that yoga for the average person is not about standing on your head or putting your foot on the back of the head or going into any extreme positions. This can be done mostly by people who have practiced yoga for over 10 years. The benefits of yoga start from the simple basic concepts that even a beginner can do. If you are not very flexible do not try to reach as far as an expert. Keeping the integrity of the movement is more important.
Usually a yoga session will consist of:
Sun salutation -it is like warming up, made of basic poses
More poses – the main part of the session. Similar to Sun Salutation you move from pose to pose and breathe
Meditation – like cooling down and relaxation
In this video that I found on Youtube you can see a person practicing “sun salutation”
Note how this person says ‘inhale’ and ‘exhale’ as she moves from pose to pose. Breathing as well as how you engage the muscles of the abdomen are the most basic and most important part of yoga. She moves to a pose and inhale, moves to another pose and exhale. What she is doing stretches and strengthens the body.
The movements in yoga can be very simple but there is lots of details in how your body is involved in the movement. Usually it is all of your body being used even in simple poses. It takes time and a lot of practice. You learn this things very gradually and over time.
This is another video of a similar sun salutation by a person with more experience
The movements are more elegant because over time the body is able to move more precisely. Of particular importance to lower back pain sufferers note how her abdomen is kept tight. Her abdomen is tight enough to keep below the rib cage outline. This is what produces the lengthening effect of the spine. This is what stretches your lower back. And most important of all to a chronic back pain sufferer is this can be done at any time during the day not just in yoga. Note also that lengthening of the spine is not the same as good posture but they look very similar.
Yoga can do a lot more than just relieve back pain and it takes many years to gradually learn those things. It has been one of the beautiful experiences of my life and I will continue it for life. People get a lot of satisfaction and it requires a lot of commitment. If you are trying to relieve back pain this is not necessary. Learn to lengthen the spine using your core muscles and breathe ( from time to time)with all your thorax. You will achieve more this way and it can be done anywhere.