Chronic lower back pain is a leading cause of disability and a major health problem in industrialised countries. Prolonged poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle often cause chronic pain. Poor posture can lead to muscle imbalances around the flexor, extensor and rotator muscles of the back and neck. These muscle imbalances create unequal forces around and weaken the joints, thus making them more vulnerable to stress and pain.
Yoga is now emerging as a recognised means for effectively treating chronic back pain. Studies have shown a reduction in pain and functional disability in subjects with chronic lower back pain who undergo a yoga intervention. One of the first steps in practising yoga is to correct postural alignment, which should help in alleviating pain. Yoga can selectively stretch shortened, tight muscles and strengthen weak, elongated muscles.
Whether sitting or standing, the spine has natural curves that should be maintained for correct postural alignment. These curves can become habitually flattened or overly curved, leading to abnormal posture that can put excessive strain on vertebrae, discs, joints, muscles or ligaments. Abnormal flattening or curving of the spine may be the result of prolonged poor posture while sitting or standing, such as slumping, or the result of a sudden traumatic stress, such as a road traffic accident. In the long term, abnormal posture can lead to the adaptive shortening or elongation of muscles. Several abnormal curvatures of the spine have been documented, but the three most common are: (1) a hunched upper back – that is, excessive kyphosis – usually associated with a forward head posture; (2) an extreme sway in the lower back, called excessive lordosis; and, (3) a flat back posture.
The physical postures of yoga are a form of therapeutic exercise that integrate balance, co-ordination, strength and flexibility. Yoga is emerging as a promising means of alleviating lower back pain and may be of great benefit to patients, particularly when performed in conjunction with other established treatments, such as lifestyle advice, exercise, massage and mobilisations and manipulations. Yoga, when practised in a safe and strategic manner, can be a very useful tool in healing chronic back pain.
Some of the Popular Yoga Postures For Back Mobility and Strength:
Pavanamukthasana, Sethubandasana, Marjariasana, Bhujangasana, Jathara Parivarthasana..etc..,