Back pain is a growing issue in our societies. In the United States lower back pain is one of most common complaints. Scoliosis is a physical disease that causes abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine. While severe cases can only be corrected by surgery, frequent exercises can prevent and improve mild scoliosis.
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Several studies have shown yoga to have immediate effect on back pain besides many other positive benefits on the whole body. This ancient system emphasizes stretching, strength, and flexibility and thus it can relieve back soreness. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the back and core muscles can restore balanced muscle tone in the back and promote healthy spinal curvatures. Practice the following yoga poses or asanas daily if you suffer from back pain or mild scoliosis. It takes less than 20 minutes and you will see how it improves your overall well-being.
1. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
This is a pose that you can start and end your routine with. It might seem just a simple relaxation pose but it benefits you physiologically and physically. Lay on your back with your arms on your side, palms facing upwards and make sure that your feet turn out equally. Focus on your breathing and relax your body as well as your mind.
2. Knee Down Twist (Supta Matsyesndrasana)
This yoga asana is a knee down twist that stretches the back muscles, realigns and lengthens the spine. Laying on your back, pull up your left leg (ankle next to the knee) take a deep breath in and exhale. Drop the left knee over to the right side of your body. Look at the left finger tips and keep your arms out to the sides with the palms facing down in a T position. Repeat the exercise on the other side as well.
3. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandh-Asana)
This yoga pose stretches and strengthens the spine and the back muscles. It is not only effective in correcting scoliosis but it also helps decreases anxiety and stress and calms the mind. Lay on your back, pull up your legs and make sure that your knees reach a 90-degree angle. Exhale and press your feet and arms actively into the floor push your tailbone upward. Stay in the pose from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
4. Cat Pose (Marjariasana)
This easy yoga pose, called the cat-cow pose has many benefits for the mind and the body. It brings flexibility to the spine, improves blood circulation, massages the digestive organs and improves digestion. It is done by going down on all fours. It is also a great stress relief as it helps relaxing the mind. Move with your breath, inhale when you are in cow pose and exhale when you are in cat pose.
5. Downward-facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This yoga posture lengthens spine, opens the shoulders and brings strength to the body. It also takes the weight and stress off the spine and thus it is a great asana for scoliosis correction. Begin with the cat-cow asana, and stretch your legs, lifting the hip and keeping the spine straight. The legs kent be slightly bent until you reach more flexibility.
6. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
The Child’s Pose is a resting pose, you can stay in it from 30 seconds to a few minutes. It gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles and relieves back and neck pain. Kneel on the floor, big toes touching and sit on your heels. Separate the knees about as wide as your hips and lean forward, resting your torso on your thighs. Rest your forehead on the floor. This pose is especially effective on lower back pain, thus reliving PMS symptoms and post post menstrual pain as well.
7. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
The Triangle pose strengthens the back, legs and lengthens the muscles along the sides of your torso while stretching the hip muscles. This asana is not about how deep you can bend so don’t worry if you can’t touch the floor. The important thing is that you hold the upper body straight and the hip in place.
8. Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)
Virabhadrasana, the Warrior pose has great benefits for the body and it is also said to bring courage, grace, and peace. It stretches the chest and lungs, strengthens the back muscles, shoulders, thighs, calves, and ankles. Stand straight with your legs wide apart, turn your right foot out by 90 degrees and left foot in by about 15 degrees. Lift both arms sideways to shoulder height and turn your head, look to your right. Ensure that your knee does not overshoot the ankle!
9. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
Shoulderstand or Sarvangasana works wonderfully for people with scoliosis as it releases the tension in the neck and shoulders (often caused by scoliosis). It makes the spine flexible, stretches the back and strengthens the arms. Besides, it helps relaxing the mind. If you do it for the first time, you can do this pose at the wall. Bend your legs and place your feet on the wall to be supported.
10. Legs Up The Wall (Viparita Karani)
You can finish your routine with this relaxing pose. It improves circulation through the legs and improves lymph circulation as well. You can combat fatigue and you will definitely feel refreshed after this asana. Sit next to the wall with your hip close against it and then begin to rotate your legs up as you lay down on your back. Rest your arms out alongside your body with your palms facing up. Stay in the pose anywhere in between 5-15 minutes.