Yoga to Help Reduce and Treat Back Spasms
Yoga is a very ancient form of mental and physical exercise, dating from at least the third millennium B.C.E., as archeologists have concluded from the poses of men on many of the ancient seals found in India. The term comes from the Sanskrit word योग, which means joining or union (a cognate, incidentally, with our own word yoke). The original purpose of yoga was to form a more perfect union with the Hindu gods. In our own era trainers have devised forms of yoga to solve a variety of health problems. This article will be about yoga exercises that can help reduce and Treat back muscle spasms.
Back spasms, one of the most common forms of human pain, can be caused by any one of the numerous tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, and nerves that make up the spinal column. They may occur suddenly or they may be chronic and the intensity of the pain and the main locus thereof may vary.
Here are the top six yoga poses for back pain, taken from the blog site of Gaiam Life and outlined by Sadie Nardini. They are presented in slideshow form. Each pose should be done in the order given unless otherwise indicated and the person performing them should breath a certain number of times before proceeding to the next pose. A doctor should be consulted before beginning.
1) Fists forwards fold—standing with feet hips width apart; knees bent with the torso over the legs until the stomach touches the thighs or at least comes as close to them as possible; each fist placed in crease of opposite elbow and squeezed tightly while the head, back and neck muscles are relaxed; breath ten to twenty times, each time releasing more back tension
2) Wall plank—standing before a wall, bending from the hips at a 90 degree angle and pressing against the wall with the open upward-facing hands, the arms being in line with the bent torso; fingers should be straight apart with three of them pointing directly upward; draw back the navel while lengthening the torso toward the floor; reaching the inferior parts of the body into the floor and the superior parts; breath ten to twenty times and revert to the previous pose
3) Downward-facing dog—This well-known pose is done with the hands and feet flat on the floor and the body bent at the hips. The feet should be hips’ width apart. The back must not be arched too much because this will put unnecessary pressure on the shoulder and back muscles. The tailbone is curved towards the heels and the back pressing equally through both legs. Press through the arms and fingers into the floor. It is difficult for beginners to maintain their balance, but you will learn to do so with practice.
One leg is bent in front of you while the other is stretched out behind you, the foot on the latter leg pointing backwards. Your back should be straight and your hands on the floor pointing forwards. The hips, even if they are not touching the floor, should be centered in space. The navel and floor muscles should be drawn in. Take five to ten breaths, return to downward dog, and repeat pigeon with the legs reversed. This pose is so effective at healing back pain that the people at Gaiam have nicknamed it “the angel of mercy.” It certainly opens the muscles of the hamstrings and other parts of the lower body.
5) Back traction pose
To do this pose you will need either a yoga block or a curled up mat, which should be oriented in the direction of the spine. The hips should rest on this block with the legs bent, the torso bending upwards at the neck, and the arms stretched out. The knees should be knocked together for a minute and then walked towards the feet.
6) Child’s pose
The final pose is the simplest of them all. Kneel down and bend your upper body forward, relaxing the head. Hold the pose for at least a minute and breath slowly into the back, letting tension dissolve each time you exhale.
Iliana Spector writes for Assisted Living Today and NetQin,. Iliana has extensive experience in writing for topics related to elderly care and technology