By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published April 4, 2015, Last updated October 21, 2016
When it comes to pain in the lower back, almost every other person seems to be affected. It is the second most common cause for a person to visit a doctor. The young as well as the old are equally affected. In fact it is the most common cause for visits of youngsters to a doctor.
Yogic exercises for low back pain
Apart from the homeopathic treatment for low back pain, doing a few exercises for low back pain can be of great help in curing the lower back pain. These exercises for low back pain are basically asanas taught in Yoga. They are very effective in dealing with pain in the lower back. All these asanas involve bending the back and the spine backwards. Great care should be taken while performing these asanas or exercises that there should be no jerking movements. The asanas should be performed in a smooth gentle movement.
Shalabha asana or the Locust Pose for lower back pain
Shalabha asana or the Locust pose is one of the best exercises for lower back pain. Shalabha is a sanskrit word for Locust which is an insect. In this exercise, one lies on the abdomen and raises the legs upwards. This strengthens the lower back muscles. Most of the time our posture is wrong and we tend to bend forwards whether while standing or sitting. This exercise tends to reverse this wrong posture. It helps in not only improving the posture but also tends to undo the damage done to the spine. The sequence of the exercise is given below-
- Lie down on the abdomen. Keep your toes joined together.
- Bring your arms below your body and your hands facing downwards.
- Inhale deeply and with the strength of your hands, raise your legs upwards. Raise the legs slowly and do not bend at the knees.
- Keep the legs raised for as long as possible.
- Slowly lower your legs while exhaling.
Benefits of Shalabha asana in curing and preventing lower back pain
- It strengthens the lower back muscles
- It improves the posture of the back while standing and sitting
- It relieves the tension in the muscles of the lower back
- It imparts flexibility to the muscles of the lower back
- It helps cure lower back pain and also sciatica
- It helps strengthen the arms and shoulders
- It helps improve the digestive system
Setubandha asana for low back pain
Setu means a bridge. In this asana or exercise one makes a pose as that of bridge under which the water passes. One lies on the back and lifts the back with the weight of the body being balanced on the feet and the shoulders. This is an easy exercise and can be done by all.
- Lie on your back. Bend your knees and bring your feet closer to your hips and keep them about a feet apart.
- Hold your ankles with your hands and raise your hips and back.
- The weight of the body will be borne by the feet on the lower side and the shoulders on the upper side
- Try to hold the position for as long as possible. Then slowly come down.
- For those who are unable to do it this way, they can support the back with their hands instead of holding the ankles with their hands.
Benefits of Setubandhasana in treating and preventing pain in lower back
- It strengthens the whole of the spine and specially the lower spine
- It stretches the hamstrings and muscles of the back
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Improves the curvature of the spine
Matsya asana for treating and preventing lower backache
Matsya is a Sanskrit word which means fish. This exercise is normally recommended with one’s legs in the Padmasana pose. This is a slightly difficult pose which everyone cannot perform. Therefore a few variations of this exercise exist that are a little easier to perform. This is done lying on the back with legs straight. The hands are placed below the hips.
- Lie down on your back with legs straight.
- Place your hands below your hips.
- Bend your neck and place the top of your head on the floor.
- Lift your back off the ground so that the weight of the body is placed on the head and hips.
Benefits of Matsya asana in treating low backache
- It strengthens the muscles of the neck and whole of the back.
- It opens up the chest muscles and expands the lungs
- It stretches the back fully and allows correction in the curvature of the spine
- Relieves pent up stress in the lumbar as well as the cervical spine
Ushtra asana or the Camel Pose for treating and preventing low backache
Ushtra is a Sanskrit word which means Camel. In this exercise, a pose is made that looks like that of a camel. This asana stretches whole of the spine backwards and provides a lot of benefit to whole back, whether it is the upper back or lower back. This asana has been dealt in great deal in another article on neck pain.
Dhanura asana or the Bow Pose for treating and preventing low back pain
Dhanura means Bow. In this exercise one bends the back in a bow like manner. This exercise or asana is done lying on the abdomen. One holds the ankles with the hands and pulls the legs up towards the sky with the help of the hands and arms. This asana has also been dealt in detail in another article on cervical pain.