Yoga for Back Pain - Helpful Resources

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Yoga for Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most often complained about problems, and it knows no boundaries. Back pain can be caused by a number of reasons. Various injuries, slipped or herniated discs, spinal misalignment, degenerative diseases, bone spurs, and muscle or ligament problems are just a few of the causes. However, back pain can also be caused by infections, tumors, cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or many other serious physical issues. This is why if pain persists, you MUST get professional advice.

Yoga for Back Pain

Another reason for back problems and pain, which many people do not know about, is shortened hamstring muscles. The hamstrings are the major muscles in the upper back of the legs. These muscles, if extremely tight, can cause major back problems especially in later years. Many strengthening exercises, i.e., weights, cycling, jumping and contracting through aerobics or any other exercise that uses these major muscles are wonderful for strengthening but cause the muscles to contract and shorten, usually leaving the person with strength but no flexibility, which is a recipe for back pain and injury.

Yoga for Back Pain

Your job may also play a major role in your back pain. Standing for long periods or sitting in uncomfortable chairs adds stress to the spine. Carrying and lifting heavy loads does much to destroy a healthy back, especially if you do not have the muscle tone and proper alignment of the body while performing these duties. Back pain is a common complaint among workers. Back pain in the U. S. currently accounts for approximately 50-60% of complaints and loss of time in the work force, and it does not matter what type of job you do. Whether you are a factory worker or a white collar professional, you are still susceptible to back pain if you don't have good posture, proper alignment, flexibility and strength.

Yoga for Back Pain

Back pain can cause much discomfort, as most of us who have experienced it already know. It can be felt as mild discomfort, or completely debilitating. Once it's determined that the pain is not from something of a serious nature, there are many ways to alleviate or completely erase the pain. Other than drugs, there are many natural therapy methods for you to explore. Yoga is one of the most beneficial ways to start the strengthening, lengthening and healing process for back pain. When you begin a program of yoga for back pain, the pain is reduced by stretching and strengthening the spine. When the spine is flexible and strong, the occurrence of injury is dramatically lessened. Proper posture and awareness of the spine at all times is important.

Yoga for Back Pain

We have a tendency to sit and stand improperly, rounding the shoulders, which adds to the problems of misalignment and weakening of the shoulder girdle. The spine needs freedom and full range of motion, which can only come from proper knowledge of how to start incorporating a daily routine of back-healthy exercises. A yoga practice is a wonderful way to start the healing, and this means the integration of physical, mental and spiritual components toward treatment. Not only do physical movements play a part in a healthy spine, but breathing exercises, also known as pranayama, and meditation play a major role.

Yoga for Back Pain

A beneficial natural therapy for back pain is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a 2,000-year-old Chinese treatment. It stimulates the Meridians, which are energy channels, and the nerve pathways through the spinal cord to the brain with the use of tiny needles. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a painful technique and can be relaxing when performed by a qualified Acupuncturist. Using needles stimulates the nerve pathways to release hormones and healing endorphins to aid in healing.

Yoga for Back Pain

Massage therapy is a soothing way to alleviate pain. There are many wonderful spas, gyms and health care centers that provide massage therapy. Deep body massages can aid by releasing pain from nerves that are swollen within muscle tissue and improve flexibility. Massage therapy also helps you to relax, which helps in pain relief.

Some people turn to a natural therapy of herbs for back pain. Herbs must be used with guidance from a knowledgeable source. There are many good books on the subject. Herbs are non-addictive and in most circumstances do not result in major side effects, however, caution must be taken with any ingested substance. A popular herb is boswellia because it is believed to reduce inflammation. When boswellia is used it may reduce stiffness because blood supply is increased in the back.

Yoga for Back Pain

Ginger may also be useful in your fight against back pain because it stops pain-causing hormones from being released and has healing properties. Ginger is known in Ayurveda as the Universal Tonic and is used for many healing purposes. Also, ginger can be used on a long-term basis with no adverse side effects. Over the counter back pain products that contain menthol and camphor are also particularly helpful, as well as a product called Woodlock, which is great for providing immediate relief for painful muscles.

The following recommended site is devoted to strengthening and healing the back through yoga. You may find some or all of the recommended postures helpful to bring you to a place of comfort and strength for a pain-free and healthy back. Click here for information on the wonderful benefits of yoga for back care.

Take a proactive approach to your pain and take charge of the situation so that you will be able to live life to its fullest!


Herbs for Back Pain

* Ginger - pain relief
* Feverfew - pain relief
* Devil’s Claw - pain relief, anti-arthritic
* Angelica - pain relief, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
* Mustard Seed Extract - topical pain relief
* Ginkgo Biloba leaves - increases circulation
* Saw Palmetto - anti-inflammatory
* Chamomile - relaxes muscles
* Burdock - pain relief
* Yarrow- strengthens muscles
* Stinging Nettle - pain relief
* Cayenne Pepper - topical pain relief
* Grape seed extract - anti-inflammatory , increases circulation
* Mint (Peppermint, Spearmint) - topical pain relief
* Willow Bark - pain relief
* Rosemary - anti-inflammatory
* Bromelain - anti-inflammatory
* Valeria - anti-inflammatory
* Celery Seed - muscle relaxant
* Kava Root - pain relief, anesthetic
* Coriander - topical pain relief
* Bilberry - increases circulation
* Cat’s Claw - anti-inflammatory
* Licorice - anti-inflammatory
* Horsetail - speeds healing, pain relief
* Cramp Bark - antispasmodic
* Black Haw - antispasmodic

and, finally:

* Hot Peppers - Cayenne pepper (Capsicum spp.) has been used in formulas for liniments and plasters for years. Red pepper contains a pain-relieving chemical called Capsaicin. It is extremely potent and very small amounts are needed. We don't really know the exact way that red pepper works, however, it does work. Capsaicin interferes with our pain perception and triggers a release of the body's own pain-relieving endorphins. You can buy a commercial cream containing capsaicin and use it according to the directions.

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