9 Best Yoga Poses For Back Pain

yoga poses for back pain

Back pain is a common condition that everyone might encounter at some time in their lives. Back pain may be influenced by genetics, age-related factors, and poor lifestyle choices. Those who do not exercise regularly are more likely to experience back discomfort. Inadequate core strength leads to improper spinal support. At the same time, overdoing it after a period of inactivity increases the risk of back discomfort. Obesity can also result from a sedentary lifestyle which may cause the back to ache. Back injuries can occur from jobs that are physically demanding. Another important factor that is prominent these days is a desk job which refers to sitting for a long time. This can tense the muscles to increase back pain. Yoga poses for back pain help increase the functional activity of the muscles related to back pain. 

The anatomy of the back is made up of several components like the spinal cord, vertebrae, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that cooperate to support the body. Back discomfort can result from issues with any one of these structures. The spine is further divided into four parts – the cervical region, thoracic cavity, lumbar region, sacrum, and coccyx.


Yoga Poses For Back Pain

We often experience back pain due to our current sedentary lifestyle. Performing yoga poses to increase movement can reduce back pain throughout the day. Yoga poses for back pain is a mind-body therapy that is suggested to relieve stress in the back. The body eventually gets stronger and more relaxed with the right poses and alignment. Some of the best yoga poses for back pain are:


1. Clasped Hand Shoulder Blade Stretch

Yoga Poses For Back Pain (Clasped Hand Shoulder Blade Stretch)
This pose strengthens the shoulder joint and back muscles.

Steps:

  1. Stand with feet together.
  2. Interlock the fingers behind the back and extend the arms as far as you can, pinching the shoulder blades together.
  3. Gently fold forward at the hips. 
  4. Bend the knees slightly as you bend if needed.
  5. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
  6. To release, slowly come up to stand straight and gently release the fingers. 


2. Snake Pose

Yoga Poses For Back Pain (Snake Pose)
Source: https://www.pocketyoga.com/

The pose strengthens the back, spine, and shoulder blade muscles.

Steps:

  1. Lie down on the abdomen 
  2. Place your hands beside your body and rest your head on the mat
  3. Gently bring both hands backward to interlock them behind
  4. Inhale and gently raise the chest off the floor. Avoid overstretching.
  5. Now slowly place the chin on the floor. Lengthen the arms.
  6. Hold the pose for 5-8 deep breaths. 
  7. To release gently relax the chin and the upper body and release the arms to rest them at the back


3. Camel Pose 
Yoga Poses For Back Pain (Camel Pose) 

It opens the chest to provide space for the upper body to breathe freely

Steps:

  1. Kneel and sit upright 
  2. Place both hands on the hips and slowly open up the chest for a slight backbend
  3. Gently bring the hands down to touch your heels or yoga blocks
  4. Let the shoulder blades engage
  5. Hold the pose for 5-8 breaths.
  6. Bring the hands to the hips again and support the lower back to release and bring the body upright 


4. Thread the Needle Pose
TYoga Poses For Back Pain(Thread the Needle Pose)

Stretches the back and the shoulder with its dynamic movement.

Steps:

  1. Come to a tabletop position facing the floor
  2. Lift the left arm and bring it beneath the right arm 
  3. Keep the hips up and let the chest rest near the ground
  4. Avoid putting too much pressure on the right arm.
  5. Hold the pose for 5-8 deep breaths.
  6. To release, slowly bring the left arm out on the tabletop. Repeat the same with the right side.


5. Locust Pose
Locust Pose

As you lift the upper body it strengthens the lower back muscles and offers stability to the spine. It also improves the posture.

Steps:

  1. Lie down on your belly
  2. Inhale and raise your legs with the support of the inner thighs
  3. Lift your arms beside your body to reach your feet in the back
  4. Raise the head and gaze forward 
  5. Open up the chest as much as you can 
  6. Hold the pose for 30 seconds


6. Cobra Pose
Cobra Pose

The cobra pose stretches the abdominal muscles and the hip flexors promote spinal flexibility and the range of motion.

Steps:

  1. Lie face down on the mat. Bring your legs to a hip-width distance by firmly pressing your legs and the tops of your feet on the yoga mat.
  2. Place your hands, palms down, just below your shoulder blades. Stack your elbows and wrists on the floor next to your ribs while bending your elbows.
  3. As you breathe, start raising your spine into spinal extension by pulling your chest away from the floor.
  4. To raise the upper body, press through the hands. Be careful not to put too much weight on your hands.
  5. To lift higher, use your lower back muscles. Then, use your abdominal and back muscles to lift yourself into a deeper backbend as high as possible.
  6. Maintain comfortable inhalation and exhalation and hold for 15-30 mins. 


7. Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose

In the Bridge pose, the chest expands in the mild inversion which improves blood circulation and relaxes the lower back muscles.

Steps:

  1. Lie on the back. Bend your knees.
  2. Spread your legs with your feet flat on the ground.
  3. Stretch your arms out to each side of your body to touch the back of the heels
  4. Gently raise your hips up 
  5. Tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest, which helps lengthen the back of your neck.
  6. Put your hands under the back in an interlace
  7. Engage your inner thighs and relax your glutes.
  8. Hold for 30 seconds.


8. Crocodile Pose
Crocodile Pose

It puts the shoulder and chest muscles to rest which relieves back pain.

Steps:

  1. Lie down on the abdomen
  2. Fold the arms to place the right forearm over the left forearm in front
  3. Let the fingers of your hands wrap the elbows.
  4. Place the head at the center of the wrist
  5. Close your eyes and hold the pose for 10 breaths.


9. Child Pose
Child Pose

The child pose consists of a mild flexion of the spine. The stretch also helps to counteract extended hours of sitting and promotes gentle movement.

Steps:

  1. Place your knees slightly apart on the ground.
  2. Exhale and bend forward. Slightly tuck your chin.
  3. Extend the arms on the ground in front or extend them back toward the feet, palms up.
  4. Let the weight of the shoulders stretch the shoulder blades widely across the back.
  5. Breathe gently and deeply for 30 seconds.


Yoga Poses For Back Pain During Pregnancy

Yoga poses for back pain during pregnancy will assist you in identifying the stress points and help balance yourself with the correct yoga postures. These are the best yoga poses for back pain to perform during pregnancy. 


Downward Dog Pose
Downward Dog

The downward dog helps to elongate the spine and strengthen the core muscles which leads to proper support for the lower back. 

Steps:

  1. Come on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. 
  2. Raise your hips and straighten the legs, tuck your toes beneath, and push back through the hands.
  3. Spread the fingers on the mat for support.
  4. Move your shoulder blades from the ears toward your hips.
  5. Sink your heels toward the floor, rotate the thighs inward, and maintain a high tail.
  6. The space between the hands and feet should be the same
  7. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.


Cat and Cow Stretch
Cat and cow stretch

The cat and cow stretch incorporates a gentle flexion and extension of the spine which engages the muscles of the abdomen and the lower back. 

Steps:

  1. Starting on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips to perform the cat-cow stretch. 
  2. Breathe in as you drop your belly, arch your back, and raise your head (Cow Pose). 
  3. Breathe while bending your back and bringing your chin to your chest (Cat Pose). 
  4. Perform the stretch for 5-8 rounds 


Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Puppy Pose

As you extend the arms the upper back and spine are stretched which promotes a sense of relaxation in the muscles.

Steps:

  1. Come to your fours in the tabletop position.  
  2. Extend your hands forward and lower the body until you can release your head onto the floor while maintaining the hip position. 
  3. Separate the shoulder blades and widen the shoulders. 
  4. Hold the pose for 5-8 breaths.


Spine Twist 
Spine Twist 

Stretches the muscles of the upper torso. It helps to relieve tension in the upper and lower back region.

Steps:

  1. Sit on the mat in a crossed-legged posture.
  2. Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind the back.
  3. Elongate the spine and twist back 180 degrees to fix the gaze.
  4. Repeat the opposite side. 
  5. Place the right hand on the left knee and the left hand behind the back and turn 180 degrees.
  6. Hold the posture for 10 breaths on each side.

The likelihood of experiencing back discomfort is aggravated by several factors like level of fitness, body weight, risk factors associated with our daily jobs, stress level, and hereditary factors. It is essential to practice yoga poses for back pain for 15-20 minutes daily with savasana. Savasana helps to relax the body and the diaphragm to breathe freely. It is also recommended to perform the stretches after a doctor consultation and under expert guidance in severe cases. You can also learn all these yoga poses in our 200-hour yoga teacher training in India.