How to Relieve Lower Back Pain With Yoga

Updated on March 29, 2016
Act 3 profile image

Chet is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. He teaches three to four yoga classes per week.

Source

One of the benefits of yoga is a reduction in the severity and frequency of symptoms from common ailments and illnesses. Yoga for lower back pain relief includes a few simple poses to relax, release and gently stretch muscles in the back. The National Institute of Health states that yoga can be an effective tool in dealing with lower back pain.

Here is a sequence of five gentle yoga poses to help stretch and release your lower back, relieving lower back pain in many cases. These poses are different from yoga that might be used to increase strength in the back. You can work on that after recovering from back pain and tension.

Practice them in the order shown, taking a few moments after each yoga pose to relax your back and observe any changes in your physical or mental state. Hopefully, you will feel better after trying these stretches for lower back pain.

Savasana with Legs on a Chair - Useful for Back Injuries
Savasana with Legs on a Chair - Useful for Back Injuries

Savasana with Legs on a Chair

Lie on your back on the floor with your lower legs supported by, and resting on, the seat of a chair. A folding chair or dining room chair should work fine. Your lower legs should be parallel to the floor. Add folded blankets as needed to make the leg rest taller. Angle your arms away from your side and rest them on the floor, palms facing up.

Let your lower back release into the floor. Visualize your breath releasing through your back body as you exhale. Keep your breathing relaxed and release any tension in your face.

Supta Padangustasana
Supta Padangustasana | Source

Supta Padangustasana - Reclining Big Toe Pose

Lie flat on your back. Bend one knee in toward your chest and loop a yoga strap or belt around your foot. Carefully straighten your leg toward the ceiling with both hands holding the strap. Contact the thigh (quadriceps) of the raised leg. This helps the hamstrings to lengthen and release. Lengthen from the outer knee of the raised leg to the outer hip, as if pulling the outer hip into the floor. If your back has been bothering you, ease into the leg extension slowly. Relax and release your lower back.

During this yoga pose, the leg on the floor should remain straight with the thigh pressing down into the floor. Don’t let that leg roll out to the side. Keep your leg raised for 30 - 60 seconds, then switch to the other side. You can repeat this asana 2 or 3 times, easing a little further into it each time.

Adho Mukha Savasana
Adho Mukha Savasana

Adho Mukha Savasana - Downward Facing Dog

This is perhaps the most well-known and one of the best overall yoga asanas. Start on your hands and knees with your hands just wider than your shoulders and your feet hip width apart. Engage your abdomen and thighs to lift your hips high. Straighten your arms and your legs. Gently stretch your back by drawing your navel in toward your spine and pressing your thighs back. There is often a tendency in downward dog to make the lower back concave. This actually compresses the lumbar spine. Firmly draw the abdomen in, and the lower ribs back, until the lower back is flat. Roll your outer shoulders toward the floor. Remain for 30 - 60 seconds or more. Feel free to repeat this pose 2 or 3 times.

Bharadvajasana with a Chair
Bharadvajasana with a Chair

Bharadvajasana with a Chair - Seated Twist

Sit sideways in a folding metal or straightback chair so that the back of the chair is on your right side and the front on your left. Keeping your spine straight, turn to the right, using your hands on the back of the chair to assist with the twist. Keep the lower back relaxed. It is OK if the left hip shifts forward. Stay for 15 - 30 seconds, then swing around to the other side of the chair and turn to the left. Repeat 2 or 3 times.

This is one of the easiest stretches for lower backs and one of best yoga poses for lower backs, too. Just be careful not to tense the back muscles; let them be soft. You can easily practice this pose almost anytime during the day.

Savasana with a Bolster Under the Knees for Low Back Pain Relief
Savasana with a Bolster Under the Knees for Low Back Pain Relief

Savasana with Support Under the Knees

Lie flat on your back with a rolled-up blanket or a bolster under your knees. As in the first pose, angle your arms away from your side and rest them on the floor, palms facing up. Let your lower back release into the floor. Visualize your breath releasing through your back body as you exhale. Keep your breathing relaxed and release any tension in your face. Move your senses and awareness inward. As your mind starts to drift, bring your awareness to your breath and the relaxation of your back.

When one one group of muscles is tense or strained, adjacent muscles will often becomes tense as well. When the lower back is tight, expand your focus to relax your middle and upper back and your buttock muscles.

The two versions of Savasana described here will be the most useful for relaxing and releasing back tension. The other three yoga asanas are good for stretching the lower back. Depending on the extent of your lower back tension, you should ease into them gently and carefully. Be sure to use your thigh and abdominal muscles. They will help with expansion and release of the back muscles.

If you are experiencing acute symptoms, don’t just rely on yoga - consult a doctor. It is always wise to talk with your doctor before beginning a new exercise practice, particularly if you have health issues. There are many doctors that support the use of yoga to treat back pain. A future hub will focus on asanas to strengthen, support and protect the lower back. Namaste!

All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.

© 2012 chet thomas

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      G.Saratchandra Raj 

      21 months ago

      Interesting and useful information

    • Act 3 profile imageAUTHOR

      chet thomas 

      5 years ago from Athens, GA

      Thanks midget38! I hope you find this helpful.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      I have always been searching for new yoga poses because I am personally into this form of exercise and meditation. Thanks for sharing, Act 3!

    • Act 3 profile imageAUTHOR

      chet thomas 

      6 years ago from Athens, GA

      Hi daisyjae - Glad to hear these have worked for you. It's always nice to get confirmation!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 

      6 years ago from Canada

      These are awesome poses for reliving lower back pain, I can tell you they all have helped me. Especially the twisting one.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)