The Top 3 Yoga Moves For Relieving Lower Back Pain, Expert Says
If you sit at a desk most days while working, you may very well deal with the discomfort that is lower back pain. And we all know dealing with back pain can be, well, a total pain. Whether you're not sitting properly in your desk chair, or you don't have the correct lumbar support your lower back needs, there are some things you can do right now to aid your lower back pain. Of course, the first, most important step is consulting with your physician, keeping them up-to-date on how you're feeling and the intensity of your pain—they might suggest another treatment plan. You can also try using a lumbar support pillow to see if that makes a difference. And when in doubt, stretch it out with some yoga exercises that are specifically good for relieving lower back pain.
We spoke with Thara Prashad, certified yoga teacher and health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition about what yoga moves you should incorporate into your routine, so read on to learn more. And next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
The dead bug is a yoga pose that you may be quite familiar with. Prashad notes it's a true favorite for helping with lower back pain. As a matter of fact, she says you may be turning all your focus to your lower back pain, that you're forgetting you need to think about making your core strong first and foremost.
"Dead bug is such a special exercise because you work your core with out doing the typical crunch and you don't even have to strain your neck by lifting your head to get the benefits. I think it's one of the most underrated exercises in the core playbook," Prashad says. "It comes with a little extra brainwork as well, because it's not a bicycle which people tend to treat it like. It's not a typical switching motion. You come to neutral between each side. So it does take a little brain space to make it happen but it's definitely worth the extra thought! And don't forget to press your lower back down the whole time. That's key!"
In this exercise, we're going to focus on calming the pelvis and elongating the spine, as they are both key factors to aiding lower back pain. Prashad instructs, "From your back, bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor. Lift your hips up to the sky. Focus on using your legs to lift the hips and relax the glutes. Imagine you are squeezing a block between your thighs. Press the palms flat into the earth for added stability and allow them to extend towards your heels. Chin is tucked. Press the feet firmly into the earth. Breathe into the low back, and allow the hip flexors to stretch while softening the inner thighs. Find deep quiet here for a few breaths and allow the low back to open."
Next up are spinal twists, which your lower back will find incredibly nourishing. Prashad instructs, "Taking your time, finding neutral, activating the core and then sending the knees over to each side. Using a pillow or a block can help to make this an even more restorative pose by placing the pillar or block underneath the knees as they drape to one side. Make sure to activate the core by pulling the navel down towards the floor and up first. Then, inhale the knee or knees in towards your chest and then exhale them over to the right. The goal is eventually to have the knees in line with the belly button nice and high. Extend the arms out to the side, and then look over the opposite shoulder of your knees."
Prashad says that this is also a prime opportunity to think about anything you'd like to release from your mind. "Hold for a few breaths. Always come back to neutral first, pressing the low back down and then switch to the other side. Again remembering the importance of engaging the core and mindfully twisting to get the optimal and safest benefits to support your low back," she concludes.
For more yoga inspiration, check out Secret Effects of Doing Yoga, Says Science and Turns Out, Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight, Says Science next.
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