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Back pain affects almost everyone at some stage of their active adult life. It is one of the most frequent reasons for going to the doctor or missing work. Because it affects so many, some tend to think that back pain is simply a part of daily life. It’s been estimated that about 60 to 80 percent of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain may originate from structures that form the spine such as bones, joints and ligaments, the muscles and tendons that support the back, nerves that exit your back bone, or even from some internal organs. Some practitioners maintain that emotions are held in the back along the spine as well meaning that heightened emotions (like depression, stress and anxiety) can also physiologically manifest in the back as pain.

The discomfort caused by back problems varies in severity. Some people may have mild pains, but for others, it can be potentially debilitating, making it difficult to carry out many everyday activities. Back pain can last for a few days, but may also be long lasting in some cases.

Back pain can be frustrating for patients and their doctors, but on the bright side, it rarely requires surgery. There are also many ways to prevent back problems. Although treating it can sometimes be difficult, learning how your back works and having a better understanding of the possible causes will help you in managing back pain. Techniques like Yoga, Acupuncture, and using better ergonomic principles can aid in dealing with everyday discomfort.

Yoga

Stretching joints and muscles combined with relaxing breathing techniques will help reduce strain on muscles and joints. For this reason, yoga can be included in back pain management. There are many yoga poses to relieve the tension and pain in our back. However, some poses can be strenuous and may result in more back strain. If your body has some restrictions, before giving yoga a try, it’s best to check first with your doctor to see what should be avoided. It is also important to find out which yoga exercises will be the most helpful for your condition. Work with a trained yoga instructor who can help you choose the poses that will suit you best. A yoga pose should be held from five to ten seconds, depending on your level of comfort. Below are some of the yoga positions for relieving back pain:

 

Cobra pose

This position focuses on allowing your spine to move you. It helps align spinal disks and strengthen your back.

  1. Lie flat on your stomach and stretch your legs back with your heels and toes together

  2. Place your hand on the floor under your shoulders, keep your elbows in toward your body.

  3. Press your feet, thighs and hips firmly into the floor.

  4. As you breathe in, lift your chin and your shoulders. Refrain from crunching your shoulders up your neck.

  5. Lift the upper part of your chest off the floor, but avoid pushing your ribs forward because it may harder your lower back. The back bend must be distributed evenly throughout your spine.

  6. Look upwards and hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Go back to the starting position on an exhalation.

Cat Cow

This gentle, accessible backbend stretches and mobilizes the spine. Practicing this pose also stretches your torso, shoulders, and neck.

  1. Get on all fours.

  2. Place your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.

  3. Balance your weight evenly between all four points.

  4. Inhale as you look up and let your stomach drop down toward the mat.

  5. Exhale as you tuck your chin into your chest, draw your navel toward your spine, and arch your spine toward the ceiling.

  6. Maintain awareness of your body as you do this movement.

  7. Focus on noting and releasing tension in your body.

  8. Continue this fluid movement for at least 1 minute.

Boat pose

This pose tones your abdomen and strengthens your back. When doing boat pose, you should not hold your breath even if you are concentrating on your balance. You also need to keep your knees together

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you

  2. Bring your legs straight up to a 45 degree angle

  3. Your torso will naturally lean back, but you should not let your spine collapse. Balance on your tailbone. Your body should make a V shape

  4. To help with balance, bring your arms straight out parallel to the floor at about your knee level.

  5. Stay in the pose for about 10-20 seconds while breathing easily. Release your legs as you exhale and sit upright as you inhale.

Acupuncture

The ancient technique of acupuncture has become increasingly popular as a treatment for pain along with other conditions. When back pain is caused by inflammation, acupuncture can be used to directly help reduce said inflammation. Acupuncture can help correct other more subtle internal imbalances that may be contributing to the back pain as well. Acupuncture can prove to be an effective natural remedy for back pain. Acupuncture needs to be administered by a highly trained professional. While it can be extremely effective, it can also produce detrimental effects.

Find a licenced professional in your area and find more information on Acupuncture

Ergonomics 

Ergonomics involves the proper set-up of an individual’s office space, so that there is no excessive strain on any part of the person’s body. Seat height, computer screen placement, keyboard configuration and back support are just a few among many considerations taken into account with ergonomics. Having poor alignment in the workplace can exacerbate, and in many cases cause back pain. If you spend a lot of time sitting at your workstation, it is imperative that you have proper ergonomics to mitigate this, and other painful problems. Finding the right chair, desk, and shoes are imperative to having proper back alignment and minimal discomfort. Additionally, make sure that your workstation is set up properly so that, if you work at a desk, your arms, feet, and torso line up ergonomically in relation to your desk and chair.

Read more about the importance of ergonomics

Read more about Back Pain

Read more about Back Pain Prevention

“Acupuncture Overview.” FoundHealth, www.foundhealth.com/acupuncture/overview.

“Chronic Back Pain.” Health Policy Institute, 13 Feb. 2019, hpi.georgetown.edu/backpain/.

Cronkleton, Emily. “10 Yoga Poses for Back Pain.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 25 Aug. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/yoga-for-back-pain.

“Preventing Back Pain.” FoundHealth, www.foundhealth.com/back-pain/prevention.

“What Is Ergonomics? Ergonomics in the Workplace.” Humanscale, www.humanscale.com/ergonomics/what-is-ergonomics/index.cfm.

 

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