Who doesn’t know that awful achy feeling in the lower back… Pushing buggies, lifting our kids, working in front of the computer, stress at work or at home, slouching on the sofa after a long day… all of this certainly doesn’t help our poor achy backs!
Lower back pain can have various causes of course, so it’s good to try to find out the source to be able to treat it correctly. A few causes of lower back ache can be:
- bad posture
- straining or overusing of the muscles (lifting heavy objects etc)
- slipped or prolapsed discs
New mothers often suffer from lower back pain as the abdominal muscles that help us with correct alignment and posture are weakened from pregnancy and birth. Sitting for long periods of time in an awkward position during breastfeeding, for example, can make it worse and then there is of course the lack of sleep which makes us pay less attention to our posture and fitness!
Due to a curve in my lumbar spine and general bad posture, I have always suffered from back pain, but yoga has really helped me to manage the pain and strengthen my back muscles. It was also extremely useful throughout my two pregnancies and the time after giving birth when it’s important to build up core strength again. Pilates is another great post-natal exercise and you can find more about this if you have a look at my post about the difference between Yoga and Pilates.
Benefits of yoga for lower back ache
Yoga can be a very powerful tool when done correctly and it can help to reduce lower back ache by
- releasing strained muscles,
- strengthening the muscles around the spine
- keeping the spine flexible
- relieving tension in the lower back
- increasing the blood flow to all areas of the body.
Here are 5 yoga poses which are very easy to practice at home
You can see the official version of the twist here, but I think it’s good to integrate this in your day to day life, so is something really easy you can do when sitting on a chair.
Make sure to extend the spine up, lift the crown of your head upwards and you lengthen before your twist around and use the hands to guide you a little further. Hold this for three deep breaths and then slowly release and move over to the other side.
Twists are great for lower back ache as they help to balance and release the muscles around the spine.
This is a great pose to strengthen the whole body. Start standing with your feet together and then step your left foot back and ground the back foot down. Make sure to square your hips to the front, inhale lift your arms and exhale bend the front leg. Try to keep the arms straight (much more than me here in the picture) and lift the chest up.
This is a really nice extension for the spine and great for opening and strengthening the hips. Make sure to repeat this on the other side.
Pigeon – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
This pose can be quite a strong pose as there is usually a lot of tension around the hips so make sure to listen to your body.
Start on all fours then take the right knee towards the right hand, place the leg down on the mat and then move the left leg back as much as you can. Stay upright or fold forward. You will feel a big stretch at the front of the thigh of the extended leg and the glutes. It’s a great post to practice if you suffer from sciatica.
Downward Dog – Ado Mukha Svanasana
The key is to really use your hands and arms to make the spine as long as possible. If your hamstrings are tight make sure to bend the knees a little and focus on extending the spine first.
This is a lovely stretch for your lower back and if you have kids they will probably join in with you no matter their age!
Child’s Pose – Balasana
After all that hard work Balasana is a really nice pose to relax and release the lower back.
If you have a partner who is willing to help out you can get them to place their hands on your sacrum – the bony part of your lower back – and apply a little pressure (make sure to tell them if it’s too much…)
I hope you find this useful and please let us know how you get on and if you have any questions! We would love to hear from you.
What did you think of this post? If you liked it please SHARE the love.