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7 Best Yoga Poses to Soothe Back Pain

Achy back? Give yoga a go. Multiple studies have shown the power of the ancient practice, which emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility, to relieve back soreness. In fact, several studies have found that yoga can even trump usual care for back pain when it comes to improving back function.

People who took yoga or stretching classes are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications for their back aches as people who managed symptoms on their own, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

While yoga isn’t a good idea if you have severe pain, those with occasional soreness or chronic aches may greatly benefit from certain postures that can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment, says Everyday Health fitness expert Jennifer Bayliss, ATC, CSCS. (You’ll reap these other health perks of yoga too.)

It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen, especially if you’re prone to pain. Once you get the green light, try these seven soothing poses for back pain. You can do these poses in any order. Gradually increase the intensity by holding them for longer amounts of time.

Downward-Facing Dog

This classic yoga pose is a great total body stretch that targets back extensors, or the large muscles that help form your lower back, support your spine, and help you stand and lift objects.

Try it: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling. For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.

Child’s Pose

It may look like you’re resting, but child’s pose is an active stretch that helps elongate the back. It’s also a great de-stressor before bed at the end of a long, exhausting day.

Try it: Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes (butt muscles) come to rest just above — but not touching — your heels. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch.

Pigeon Pose

Pigeon pose, which can be a little challenging for yoga newbies, stretches hip rotators and flexors. It might not seem like the most obvious position to treat a back ache, but tight hips can contribute to lower back pain.

Try it: Start in downward-facing dog with your feet together. Then draw your left knee forward and turn it out to the left so your left leg is bent and near-perpendicular to your right one; lower both legs to the ground. You can simply keep your back right leg extended straight behind you, or for an added hamstring stretch — seasoned pigeon posers, only! — carefully pull your back foot off the ground and in toward your back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.

Triangle Pose

Triangle pose is great for strengthening the back and legs and can help lengthen your muscles along the sides of your torso while stretching the muscle fibers along your outer hip (your IT, or iliotibial, band).

Try it: Start standing straight with your feet together. Next, lunge your left foot back three to four feet, and point your left foot out at a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up the pose by stretching your right arm toward the ground and the left arm toward the ceiling, keeping both your right and left legs straight. You may not be able to touch the ground with your right arm at first, so don’t over-stretch — only bend as far as you can while maintaining a straight back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.

Cat and Cow Pose

The perfect poses for an achy, sore back, cow and cat stretches loosen back muscles, whether as part of a yoga routine or as a warm-up for another workout.

Try it: Starting in an all-fours position, move into cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up, arching your back. Hold for a few seconds and then move to cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head. Moving back and forth from cat to cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.

Repeat 10 times, flowing smoothly from cat into cow, and cow back into cat. Repeat the sequence as needed.

Upward Forward Bend

Sometimes called a forward fold, the upward forward bend stretches the hamstrings and back muscles while providing a release for tight, tense shoulders.

Try it: Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees loose, not locked. While you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching toward the floor. Don’t worry if you can’t reach all the way to the floor at first; just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. Repeat the pose five to seven times. On the last bend hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.

Upward-Facing Dog

This pose works to open up your chest, stretch your abdominal muscles, and engage your back.

Try it: Start lying flat on the floor with your palms facedown by the middle of your ribs. While drawing your legs together and pressing the tops of your feet into the floor, use the strength of your back, not your hands, to lift your chest off the floor. Leave your legs extended straight out at first. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as needed.

SOURCE: http://www.everydayhealth.com/back-pain-pictures/best-yoga-poses-to-soothe-back-pain.aspx#08


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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