Back Pain

Yoga is an excellent therapy for healing sore and injured back muscles, reducing recovery time, preventing re-injury, and reducing the risk of disability from back pain. Yoga helps alleviate lower back pain by strengthening and stretching the muscles of the lower back, reducing inflammation and increasing circulation of blood and prana. Regular yoga practice also improves posture and body mechanics, relieving pain and preventing injury by keeping the spine in proper alignment.

For an acute phase of pain, yoga is not appropriate for 48 hours or until the acute period passes. If a yoga pose causes any pain, tingling, or numbness, stop immediately. Move into the poses slowly and gently; use long hold times and practice slow deep breathing in the poses. Any movements that increase your symptoms should be avoided. End with a long shavasana with bolster under knees and/or a folded blanket under the low back to support the low back.

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Severe pain lasting more than a few days without improvement requires medical attention. Anyone having difficulty passing urine; numbness in the back or genital area; numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs; shooting pain down the leg; or unsteadiness when standing should seek immediate medical attention.

Yoga Postures
Use our Backside Blues pose sequence to strengthen the back, prevent injury or to alleviate general mild back pain. For more specific treatment, choose poses from the following:
Yoga Poses for General Back Pain
Yoga Poses for Back Strain (Injury/Trauma)
Yoga Poses for Disk Herniation
Yoga Poses for Kyphosis
Yoga Poses for Lordosis
Yoga Poses for Scoliosis
Yoga Poses for Spondylolisthesis
Yoga Poses for Spinal Stenosis

Use Dirga Pranayama to increase circulation of blood, oxygen and prana to facilitate healing. With chronic back pain use Ujjayi Pranayama to cultivate more prana.

Meditation reduces stress, calms the mind and helps reduce pain and heal the body. Use one of the following by itself and/or at the beginning and end of your yoga practice: Yoga Meditation, or Prana Healing Meditation.

Yoga Therapy for Back Pain
Yoga May Help Alleviate Back Pain
Yoga With a Herniated Disk
Ease on Back

Books and Videos
Back Care Basics
The Yoga Back Book
Yoga: the Path to Holistic Health
Yoga Therapy
Yoga for Wellness
Back Care Yoga for Beginners
Yoga Journal’s Yoga for Back Care

Web Resources
Natural Healing Center for Back Pain
WebMD Back Pain Health Center

Yoga is not a substitute for conventional western medication; please consult your medical professional before starting a yoga practice.

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