Yoga Exercise To Alleviate Chronic Lumbar And Other Back Problems
| May 15, 2009
The spinal or vertebral column is a vital part of our body. It provides protection for the spinal cord and nerves, while also supporting our trunks. It is important for all our movements and also for posture. Most adults experience back pain in their lifetime. When the pain becomes chronic it could have crippling effects, sometimes even leading to paralysis. It is therefore essential to treat any back pain as soon as possible. Yoga has been found to be very helpful in this case, by stretching the spine and making it stronger and more flexible.
The adult spinal column has 33 vertebrae. Starting from the top there are two cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, 5 or 6 lumbar vertebrae, the sacrum and then the coccyx or tailbone. The vertebrae are separated from each other by intervertebral discs, which are made of cartilage.
Causes of Back Pain
Back pain is usually caused by sedentary habits, lack of exercise and wrong habits or posture. It could be caused by sprain, sciatica, scoliosis, strain, a herniated disc, or osteoporosis. While these are mechanical problems it could also be caused by kidney infection, gastro-intestinal problems. It can also be caused by stress. Stress and anxiety would cause the muscles of the back to tense up and put pressure on the nerves, which travel up and down the length of the spine and the inter-vertebral discs.
Most adults suffer from some type of lumbar pain, and this pain can be so acute and chronic as to necessitate surgery. However, exercise and a change of lifestyle can prevent such an eventuality.
Yoga has been found to be very effective in two ways. Firstly the exercises (yogasanas) help to strengthen and stretch the muscles. The breathing techniques (pranayama) also help to release the tension in the muscles, thereby alleviating the pain. This has to be accompanied by cleansing (kriyas) and a yogic diet.
The following yoga poses are particularly helpful in treating chronic lumbar pain:
- Palm Tree Pose (Tadasana)
- Mountain Pose (Parvatasana)
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
- Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chakrasana)
- Toe to Hand Pose (Padangausthasana)
- Camel Pose (Ushtrasana)
- Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
- Lion Face Pose (Simhasana)
- Child Pose (Balasana)
- Hero Pose (Virasana)
- Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
- Crane Pose (Bakasana)
- Cat Pose (Bidalasana)
- Double Leg Raises
- Single Leg Raises
- Sage Twist Yoga Pose (Marchyasana)
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Stick Pose (Yastikasana)
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)
- Legs Against the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
- Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
- Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Doing these exercises regularly will provide relief from chronic lumba pain, and even cure it completely.