Yoga to Prevent Backache
Back pain or pain in the lower back is a common concern, affecting up to 90% of the urban population with a sedentary lifestyle. Low back pain is not a specific disease, but a symptom that may occur due to a variety of different causes. Eight out of ten people have either a lower back or neck problem by the time they are thirty years of age.
Curvature of the spine
In a normal adult, when standing erect, the spinal column curves slightly in four parts. Beginning at the head, it curves slightly forward at the neck (cervical curvature), then backward under the shoulders (thoracic curvature), again forward at waist (lumbar curvature), and backward at the end of the spine (pelvic curve). All these four curves in an adult are very important and lend resilience and a spring action to the vertebral column, which is essential for walking upright, climbing or jumping. These curves are maintained by the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the spine.
Back pain symptoms
The back comprises of the interconnecting nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons, all of which can be a source of pain. By far the most common cause of back pain is muscle strain. The back muscles can usually heal themselves within a couple of weeks, but the pain can be intense and debilitating.
Pain in the lumbo-sacral area (lower part of the back) is the primary symptom of low back pain. This may be felt as a dull pain or a throbbing pain or shooting pain. It may also be felt as a burning sensation or pins
and needle sensation. It may radiate down the front, side, or back of the leg, or it may be confined to the lower back. The pain may become worse with activity, be worse at night or with prolonged sitting.
Role of yoga
Yoga believes in the removal of the root cause than in treating a symptom. Gentle massage, fomentations, hot spinal tub baths, infra red rays, ultrasound, chiropractic manipulations and acupressure or acupuncture are used along with therapeutic spinal yoga, to relax the muscles that are in spasm, strengthen and tone up the flaccid muscles and ligaments and to increase the flexibility and range of movements of the spine.Yogasanas, when done regularly under proper guidance, can prevent and also cure back pain.
Ardha kati chakrasana
Stand straight with feet a little apart, hands by the side. While inhaling, lift the right arm up, all the way till it touches the ear with
palm facing the head.
While exhaling, bend on to side as much as you can. Then stretch your neck, look up at your fingers. Hold for a count of five. Inhaling, come back up. Exhaling bring the hand down. Repeat on each side six times alternately.
Stand straight with feet together, hands on your waist, with thumbs on either side of your spine. Slowly bend back as you inhale. Hold for a count of 5. Slowly come back as you exhale. Repeat 6 times.
Lie down on your back, with feet together and arms perpendicular to shoulders with palms on the ground. As you inhale, lift the
right leg up, as high as possible keeping the leg straight. Twist on to left as you exhale and turn your head to right. Hold for a count of 5. Inhale, lift the leg up and then exhale, bring the leg down. Repeat six times on each side alternately.
Lying on the back, fold both legs and bring the heels as close as possible with feet a little apart and knees apart. Hold heels with both hands. Or else place palms by the side. Then as you inhale, lift your waist as high as possible. Hold for a count of five. Bring your waist down as you exhale.Repeat six times.
Lie down on your abdomen with feet, heels, toes and knees together, with chin on the ground. Bring the palms by the side of your chest with fingers below the shoulder line. Then, slowly inhaling, lift head, neck and chest till navel, keeping elbows bent and close to body. Arch up as high as possible and look up. Hold for a count of 5 sec – 30 sec. Exhaling, come down. Repeat three times.
Lying down on your abdomen, bring palms by the side of your face with chin on the ground. Slowly inhaling, lift head, neck and chest, straightening both arms. Look up. Hold for a count of 5 sec – 30 sec. Then exhaling slowly, come down. Repeat three
Lying down on your abdomen, with chin on the ground, tuck in both hands below the thighs with palms facing up. Inhaling, lift the right leg all the way up, as high as possible without bending the knee. Hold for a count of five. Then exhaling, bring the leg down. Inhaling, lift the left leg up, hold for a count of five. Exhaling, bring the leg down. Repeat alternately six times on each side.
After practising for two to three weeks, salabhasana (lifting both legs), can be done instead of ardha salabhasana. Tuck in both hands below the thigh with elbows also tucked in. Then placing chin firmly on the ground, inhaling, lift both legs as high as possible and hold for a count of 30 sec. Exhaling, bring the legs down. Repeat three times.
Sit on your knees, with knees and feet shoulder-width apart, toes tucked in. Place both thumbs on either side of spine, pushing waist forward, inhale and bend back. Then Inhaling further, bend back and hold the ankles with thumbs inside and fingers out. Hold for a count of five. Exhale, come back up. Repeat three times.
Sitting on the floor with legs stretched out, feet together, place the hands flat on the ground with fingers pointing backwards. Inhaling, slowly, lift waist and hips as high as possible and drop the head back. Hold for a count of five. Exhaling, slowly bring hips down. Repeat 6 times.
Sit on the floor with legs stretched out. Bend the right leg and bring the right ankle by the side of left knee. Take the right hand support, just behind you with fingers pointing backwards. Now exhaling, bring the left arm across the right knee and hold the ankle. Twist the shoulders further to bring them in a straight line, turn the neck back and look behind right shoulder. Hold for a count of five. Inhaling untwist and relax. Repeat on either side three times.