The muscles in the back and abdominal area are essential parts of the spinal system and help to maintain correct posture and movement. Back pain can be reduced or prevented as we age by keeping these muscles in good condition through the practice of Yoga.
There are three types of muscles that support the spine:
Extensors These muscles are attached to the back of the spine; the large muscles in the lower back (erector spine), which help hold up the spine, and the gluteal muscles in the buttocks which are also used to support the spine and move the thighs out and away from the body..
Flexors These abdominal and iliopsoas muscles are attached to the front of the spine; used to bend and support the spine from the front; they also control the arch of the lumbar (lower) spine and flex and move the thighs in toward the body.
Oblique’s These muscles are attached to each side of the spine; used to steady the spine when it is upright and rotate the spine. These muscles help maintain proper posture and spinal curvature.
In everyday life most people do not exercise all of these muscles adequately and unless they are specifically exercised they tend to weaken with the aging process.
Back Pain can be caused when;
There is a spinal injury or inflammation which can cause the large muscles of the back to go into spasm (contract involuntary).
Chronic stress in the body can cause the muscles to tighten up causing back pain.
Tight muscles in the back of the thighs can cause changes in the pelvis position that affects spine movement.
There are specific conditions affecting the spine e.g. scoliosis, arthritis…
How Yoga can help to keep the back healthy and pain free:
- Stretching and relaxation will reduce tension in the muscles that are carrying stress
- Yoga practice will strengthen the back muscles, abdominal muscles and other muscles supporting and connecting to the spine
- Breath control taught will encourage a relaxed body and strong circulation
- Yoga will encourage correct body alignment and correct posture
- Yoga can bring about an awareness of the body
Contact Jean if you require a personally designed home practice for your healthy pain free back