yoga poses for back pain

5 Gentle Yoga Poses for Back Pain

It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact location of your back pain. What is even more troubling is finding solutions to help relieve back pain. Back pain is immobilizing and uncomfortable. Many people practice yoga to help relieve their back pain. So, what yoga poses can you do for back pain?

There are several gentle yoga poses you can perform to help relieve back pain. From stationary stretching to movements, you can work your back muscles into relief. Yoga may not always be able to make your back pain go away, but it can certainly help your pain.

Continue reading to learn 5 gentle yoga poses for back pain. You want to ensure that you are not doing strenuous exercises, especially if you are unsure of the cause and/or exact location of your back pain. The information below will make you better familiar with causes of back pain and actions to take to relieve back pain. One of yoga’s many benefits is its ability to relieve pain.

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Causes Of Back Pain

Back pain can result from several causes:

  • Physical injury
  • Genetics
  • Improper sleeping
  • Stress

These are just a few of the ways you might develop back pain. Perhaps the most common cause of back pain is physical injury. You can put too much stress on muscles if you use them often, while more serious injuries such as a herniated disc may result from lifting heavy weights or high-contact sports. Back pain levels due to physical injury may vary.

Studies have shown that back pain could also be a result of genetics. In some instances, hereditary back pain may be unavoidable. Oftentimes, this back pain will be minor, but it can cause serious issues with your mobility. Inherited back pain is not likely the most common cause of back pain but can be just as painful as any other cause.

Another major reason people develop back pain is because of the way they sleep. Unbeknownst to many, the position you sleep can majorly affect your mobility. If you sleep with your neck at an odd angle or on a mattress that does not support your body correctly, you may find that you wake up with back aches that eventually lead to paint throughout the day.

Any type of stress – including psychological and emotional – can cause back pain. Any occurrence that might put stress on one part of your body can affect the inner workings of other parts. Overly anxious and stressed people might find themselves having body aches often. If these occur in your neck or back area, they are quite unpleasant.

Typical Remedies Prescribed By Doctors

For serious back pain, doctors will likely have you take X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to see if they can locate the problem. In serious cases, someone may have to undergo surgery or at least take under-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Physical therapy is also likely for lasting or chronic back pain.

For moderate and mild back pain, doctors may still advise you to partake in physical therapy, but it is highly unlikely that you will have to undergo surgery. Typically, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs are acceptable and will aid some of the pain. The doctor might also give you tips for simple stretches.

All in all, most doctors know how to approach and assess instances of back pain. However, just because they know what they are talking about does not mean your back pain will vanish. Chronic back pain affects around 8% of American adults. Even with professional remedies, back pain may never go away completely.

Needless to say, back pain is not fun. Those who experience chronic back pain know the struggle of performing daily duties without being reminded of immobilizing pain. Yes, doctors’ remedies should be taken into account, but there are other ways you can try to relieve back pain at home. Below, you will learn about yoga asanas that can greatly increase your chances of back pain relief.

Why A Gentle Series Of Yoga Asanas Can Help

Chances are that you have heard of yoga but may have never given it a shot. If you prefer more active exercises, you may look down upon those who practice yoga. What you may not know is that yoga is extremely beneficial for stretching and strengthening muscles.

Yoga asanas are yoga postures originating from meditative positions. Asanas represent different poses. Yoga asanas work different areas of your body. Yoga is beneficial for back pain because it stretches and builds muscle throughout your entire body. Nearly all yoga asanas incorporate back and spine work into their functions.

Can You Fix Back Pain With Yoga?

As mentioned before, some cases make it impossible to fix back pain permanently. Chronic back pain resulting from a wide variety of unrelated issues can be irreparable. However, you can treat back pain with yoga to help with flare-ups and intense pain.

Minor back pain resulting from something such as a knot in a muscle could be fixed with back pain. If you are simply not stretching the muscle enough before a workout, doing so can stop pain. It is important to recognize the type of back pain you have when practicing yoga to relieve pain.

What Type Of Yoga Is Best For Back Pain?

Especially if you are not well-versed in the art of yoga, you likely have questions about what types of asanas you should do to relieve back pain. While an individual may have their yoga style preferences, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact type that is best for back pain.

Some yoga types are essential for back pain but may not be easily executed by you if you do not have the strength for the poses. To be safe, gentle poses that target your neck and back are typically the best for back pain.

5 Gentle Yoga Poses For Back Pain

As mentioned, it is obvious that no one enjoys dealing with back pain. Even after receiving remedies from a doctor, chronic back pain can be aggravating and infuriating. Not feeling comfortable performing basic duties throughout the day is a restriction that countless people struggle with.

Particularly if you are new to yoga, you should start with gentle yoga asanas to help relieve back pain. Below are 5 gentle yoga poses for back pain that can help you locate the exact area of your pain and work towards stretching and strengthening your muscles for pain relief.

1. Cat-Cow

The Cat-Cow pose is a bit of a combination of two poses, but it is as simple as it gets. Get on the ground on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees below your hips. Arch your back upwards while flexing your abs and glutes and tuck your chin into your chest. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Then, arch your back downwards. Keep your should back and look up until you feel tightening. 

The main targets of the Cat-Cow pose are your neck, shoulders, and upper back. Stretching and strengthening these areas are great for upper or middle-back pain. You can repeat the stretch for 5-10 seconds as often as you would like.

Yoga Poses For Back Pain - Cat-Cow

2. Sphinx Pose

The Sphinx pose is another simple yet efficient yoga asana. Lay face-down on the ground with your elbows aligned near your chest. Push yourself up with your elbows while keeping your forearms on the ground. The only thing in the air should be your head and chest. Hold the pose for as long as you would like, making sure to take slow, deep breaths.

The Sphinx pose is beneficial for lower back pain. It targets your lower back, glutes, and your entire spine. It can also help your abs, chest, and shoulders.

Yoga Poses For Back Pain - Sphinx Pose

3. Child Pose

The Child pose is another gentle yoga asana that works your entire back. Sit on your knees with your buttocks touching your heels. Lean forward as much as you can – ideally with your forehead touching the floor. Hold this pose. For a more intense stretch, straighten your arms above your head and touch your palms to the floor.

The child pose targets your entire back while also improving hip strength and flexibility. It is a good pose to incorporate into other poses to ensure that you get each area you need to cover.

Yoga Poses For Back Pain - Child Pose

4. Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog is one of the more difficult gentle poses if you are not flexible, but it can help greatly. Start on your knees and put your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground. While pushing into the ground, begin extending your knees, ideally until your legs are straight. Your body should form a 90-degree angle or less.

Downward-Facing Dog targets your neck, spine, and back muscles. It also helps stretch out your glutes and hamstrings, which can benefit lower-back pain. This pose also has neurological benefits.

Yoga Poses For Back Pain - Downward-Facing Dog

5. Two-Knee Spinal Twist

To perform the Two-Knee Spinal Twist, lay on your back. Lift your legs so that they create a 90-degree angle. Put your arms to your side, directly aligned with your shoulders, and place your palms on the ground. Twist your legs to both sides interchangeably, ensuring that your back remains on the ground and trying to keep each respective buttock on the ground when you twist.

The Two-Knee Spinal Twist helps mobility in your entire back and body. It is great for getting a simple yet noticeable stretch when you need to loosen the muscles in your back. It can also be relieving to hear a few gentle pops in your spine as you twist.

Yoga Poses For Back Pain - Two-Knee Spinal Twist


Yoga asanas are great exercises for back pain. No matter what type of back pain you have, taking time to do simple stretches each day can greatly reduce the pain in your back.