Our body was made to move, jet we spend most of our time in the seated position. Our spine dislikes this the most and lots of people experience pain in the neck or lower back because their muscles weaken and they don't live an active life.
I was one of those people and I experienced lower back pain and neck pain even after practicing yoga for several years. Why? After some checkups at the doctor and my physical therapist we discovered I have hyper-mobile joints and not such a strong core and shoulder area (muscle wise). I was compensating and my body was relying on my hyper-mobility and loosing energy trying to keep everything in balance.
Example: I can push my head a bit further than majority of people, since I have very mobile neck. So whenever I was working on my computer or scrolling on my phone, my muscles in the upper back (around shoulder-blades) had to work harder to control the move and pull the head back. Hence I had lots of tension headaches and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.
Is there a oneway simple solution to solving back pain?
My answer would be no. I would recommend you take a holistic approach and consult with different professionals. I've worked closely with my physical therapist and gotten myself a trainer for building muscle strength and functional training. Of course all that combined with yoga that I try to practice as much as possible.
I also watch how I work behind computer and try to sit normally, but then again, I get carried away and forget. What I think is most important here is the fact that you start doing something about it, not just ignoring the signs that your spine is sending you.
Try doing this 5 simple exercises
You can start with simple easy daily movement — either when you wake up or after you come home from work. Here are 5 simple and dynamic exercises I love doing and I try to put them in the yoga classes I teach.
Start on all four (palms under shoulders and knees under hips), with inhale look up and tilt your pelvis back (cow) and with exhale tuck your tailbone, create space in between shoulder-blades, bring chin towards chest and repeat a few times in the pace of your own breath.
2. Seated spinal twist
Hook your left arm around your bent right knee. Take a deep breath and exhale as you twist further to the right. With each exhale, twist your body further. Gently release from the pose and then repeat on the other side.
3. Seated shoulder opening
You can do this one while seating on the chair on on the ground. Extend your arms forward in the same level as your shoulders. With inhale twist to the side and spread your arms apart, look behind and make sure you keep your shoulders away from your ears. Repeat on the other side and keep going.
4. Downwards facing dog
A beloved yoga pose/asana that has many good benefits and one of them is a strong back. Start with strong push of your palms towards the mat and don't forget to spread your fingers and turn them towards. In the shoulder area you want to achieve the feeling of pushing away from the ground, not crushing down, straighten your back (activate the back and abdomen muscles) and activate your legs, hide your heels behind the feet and hold for few long inhales and exhales.
5. Hips 90/90 and lower back stretch
Get your knees to 90 degree angle and put them both to one side. Then lean to the side and extend the opposite arm and lower your upper body towards the ground. Repeat on the other side. You can do this exercise dynamically - you go from on side to the other more times or hold it statically.
Try staying active every day, move as much as possible, have standing up meetings or walking calls while working. Use the steps instead of elevator, try cycling or walking to work instead of driving. If you would like to stay active with yoga you can either do it in the office or at home — we're here to help.