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Sarah Key - Beat That Back Pain

Pain Relief Solutions

Yoga For Back Pain Relief


Yoga for back pain relief is extremely gratifying. It's just about the ideal therapy for self treatment. Following on from spinal mobilisation and do-it-yourself spinal decompression yoga has the potential to take you into another orbit of your recovery.


You can download Sarah's excellent video about yoga for back pain here

Beginner Yoga for Back Pain Relief Will:

  • Balance length and strength of the body's muscles and tendons
  • Make the tissues more supple by getting rid of 'the fuzz'
  • Restore hidden accessory joint movement
  • Help force fluid through the joints' hyaline cartilage
  • Help with broader goals of balance & coordination
  • Help with mental focus
  • Restore a sense of wellbeing 


A progressive yoga regime from therapeutic yoga, to a beginners' class and then advanced yoga is the best long-term strategy for lower back pain management. There are over 7,000 yoga postures and a seemingly endless gradient from easy to complex - and again, a seemingly endless scope for improvement over many years. 


Yoga for Back Pain Relief

Some of the most effective yoga for back pain helps by making you sideline your habitual brakes on activity ~ usually there by dint of habit and automatic protective mechanisms. Often, these habits of restraint keep you locked in territory that keeps your pain keeping on. Some of the simplest, least demanding poses can focus your thoughts away from your back in the most emancipating way. 

[Image]: This is the ideal sitting posture, with a pillow the small of your back


The 10 Points for How to Sit at a Computer

  • Have the screen and keyboard straight in front, never to the side
  • The screen must be positioned at your correct focal length so that your eyes can focus easily. You should never accept anyone else's setting. All members of the family may need to position the screen differently

  • Swap hands in using the mouse on alternate days. It is very useful for children to become ambidextrous in this way

  • If you are a touch typist the top of the screen should be just below eye-line. Any higher requires too much effort of the back of your neck to tilt your head back. The poorer the typing skills the lower the screen should be, although you may need to tilt the screen back so you don't have to scrunch down bodily to see it

  • Keyboards are better flat or even held in the lap and tilted away from you (that is, not on the desk and tilted up at the back). This requires less cocking back of the wrists to keep the fingers clear

  • Used on the desk, the keyboard should be such that your elbows are below 90 degrees when your fingertips are poised above the keys. Any higher and your elbows will be working in inner range, which is bad for them. A keyboard too high also places greatly added load on your shoulder-girdle to hoist your arms up higher

  • Ergonomic chairs should have the back support positioned close in behind the back and the chair as close as possible to the desk. If the chair is too far away you will lose the benefits of the contoured padding as you lean forward to the screen. (This is a common failing of ergonomic chairs)

  • The chair seat should be angled down a few degrees at the front. This encourages the lower back to maintain a better lumbar hollow (lumbar lordosis) which helps prevent the whole spine slumping in a crumpled 'C' shape

  • Large inflatable plastic fit balls are ideal seating for computers, especially for children. Apart from the joyous bouncing romp that eliminates the static compression of the spinal base, the lack of back support means you must recruit your own tummy strength to keep upright. Thus they encourage proper spinal alignment and are ideal for young bodies learning the subliminal cues of postural awareness. They are a fraction of the price of ergonomic chairs and I'm convinced every household needs one

  • Do the right-angled stretch at the end of each computer session. It undoes the hunched sitting posture and opens out the pinched-in birds' wings arms to full stretch

Remember that growing children may need to adjust the screen higher every six months or so.  Learning how to sit at a computer as a child helps avoid spinal problems later on.


Focusing on breathing and relaxation is an important part of yoga for relief of back pain. The wave-like rhythm of breathing-induced relaxation eases the wires of tension (and pain). It does this by taking your awareness to other parts of the body; focusing on how they work and what they feel like. This helps peel back the layers of stiffness that hold the body rigid; the mind as much as tight soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) that keep the pain locked in.

The very variety and awkward postures in yoga - from gently therapeutic to advanced 'asanas' - can approach a back from another direction and release it.

Yoga for Back Pain Exercises

Although peaceful periods and mindfulness can greatly reduce your pain, there are some simple lumbar exercises that work physically to ease your back pain and go well beyond breathing and relaxation.

Some of the most effective yoga for back pain are the standing poses that seem to use everything but your back! It’s as if the pose is so demanding it requires the whole body rising to the challenge and the back having to fall into line as a co-helper, instead of remaining the look-at-me prima donna it usually is.

In short, a yoga workout for lower back pain often works by discombobulating the bullyboy lower back muscles into mute compliance, thus allowing you a brief window through which you might escape.

Read this study:

Effects of Yoga Versus Walking on Mood, Anxiety and Brain GABA Levels


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