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The ancient art of yoga has been used to soothe aching backs and other painful injuries for centuries. These exercises make use of various stretching and deep breathing exercises to improve flexibility and strength. Doing yoga stretches has actually been scientifically proven to improve the recovery rate of patients who suffer from chronic pain. As with any exercise regimen, consulting your doctor is always best before you get started. Doctors however, may not recommend yoga stretching for individuals who suffer from severe pain and complicated injuries. These stretches are best for individuals who suffer from consistent pain that would not be described as excruciating.
You are definitely going to find yoga to be very difficult when you first try the poses. This is especially so if you are not particularly flexible. Doing your own research on how these exercises have helped millions of people recover will give you the motivation you need to keep trying. For starters, many often refer to it as the most relaxing form of exercise.
Additionally, because you will not be doing any vigorous movements, the possibilities of you aggravating your injury is quite minimal. Over time, yoga will also strengthen your muscles and relieve the tension causing your pain. You will never know how effective yoga can be unless you give it a try. Here are a few stretches that have been proven to provide pain relief.
Downward Facing Dog
This is one of the basic poses that primarily stretch the muscles responsible for supporting your lower back and spine. These areas are where most individuals complain of feeling aches and pains. In order to get into this position, you will need to start by kneeling down on your hands and knees. Ensure that you keep your hands in front of your shoulders. From there, straighten your knees and push your buttocks towards the ceiling. You should basically be forming a ‘V’ at this point if you have done it correctly. Hold this pose for about 10 seconds and then repeat.
This pose is often recommended as an easy way to stretch away the stresses of your day. It is really quite soothing and helps to elongate the muscles in your back. Start by getting down on all four. While keeping your arms outstretched, push your hips backwards until they are just above your heels. Hold this pose for as long as you like and repeat until you are completely relaxed.
This exercise is not only great for stretching the muscles in your back but it also helps you to stretch the muscles in your torso, hips and legs. This is an intermediate move that comes highly recommended. To get into this pose, you will need to stand with your feet approximately 2.5 to 3 feet apart. Turn your left leg until it is pointing outwards at a 45 degree angle. Gently lean to the left until you are touching your left ankle with your left hand. Your right hand should be pointing upwards. Hold this pose for a few seconds and gently return to center. Repeat this pose on both sides.
This pose engages the muscles in your abdominals, chest, arms and back, all at once. Begin by lying flat on the ground with your hands just below your ribcage. Keep your feet together and pressing against the floor. Gradually lift yourself off the floor as if to allow your chest to face the sun. Hold this position and gently breathe in and out for 5 breaths before returning to center. If done correctly, you should be feeling the stretch in your back and not your hands.
Cat and Cow Pose
You are probably quite familiar with this pose because it is often used as a warm up exercise in different forms of exercise regimen. It is also quite popular since it is so simple. First, begin by getting down on all four. Keep your hands directly below your shoulders. Next, get into the cat pose by arching your back and lifting your head upwards. Cow position is where you straighten your back before returning to the arched position. This pose is often recommended to relieve lower back pain.