Low back pain (LBP) is a growing national problem, with some surveys suggesting that 49% of the adult population in the UK suffers from LBP lasting at least 24 hours. Consequently, the NHS spends £1bn a year on related costs and treatment. It’s also been estimated that employers lose 2.8 million work days when their employees are suffering with low back pain issues.
There are many professionals trained to deal with LBP and these include physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and exercise specialists. An increasingly popular route is yoga, and studies have shown it can be incredibly effective in helping low back pain sufferers. The way these benefits are unlocked is via asana techniques.
Asanas are the third of the eight limbs of yoga, and this is the term given to the physical postures. There are many things to be gained from asana practice including: better concentration, confidence and self-awareness. It also aides to awaken energy centres and proprioception. Today we’re going to focus on low back pain, and five of the many poses that can be used to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle
This standard lateral flexion pose has the benefit of being able to not only strengthen the muscles around the feet, legs, ankles and torso, but to encourage flexibility in the hamstring and pectorals. It also stabilises the scapula and pelvic girdle.
Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose
In hatha yoga, the sun and the moon represent two polar energies in the body, so this pose carries a rich amount of symbolism. With regards to benefits, it can help improve balance, as well as increase flexibility.
Virabhadrasana 2 – Warrior Pose 2
This pose is named after an incarnation of Shiva and can be transitioned to from Tadasna (Mountain Pose). Flexibility in the quadriceps and adductors are just one of the great benefits.
Garudasana – Eagle Pose
Beginners often find it difficult to gain balance in this pose, so to practice, use the support of a wall. The purpose is to release tightness from the shoulders and increase flexibility in the upper back.
Salabhasana – Locust Pose
This pose falls under the ‘back bends’ category and it’s ideal for strengthening the upper and lower back, as well as preparing the body for deeper back bends.
If you’re interested to know more about the practice of yoga, and the opportunity to learn how to teach it, our course page is a great source of information.