When clients come to me with back pain, it is usually in the lumbar area of their spine. The lumbar area is in the lowest part of the spine, just above your sacrum and is most subject to injury.
Here are some interesting facts about lumbar pressure in various positions:
- Sitting hunched over a desk- 200 lbs.
- Sitting leaning back on chair with low back rounded- 150 lbs.
- Sitting upright with feet elevated- 100 lbs.
- Standing with leaning forward posture- 200 lbs.
- Standing in proper alignment:– 100 lbs.
- Laying flat on back- 55 lbs.
- Laying flat on back with knees elevated- 25lbs.
There are easy ways to take pressure off of the lumbar spine and with the differences in compression and pressure, you can see how modifications to standing, sitting and lying down can make a big difference.
The first step is to become mindful and aware of how you are using your body. Let me know in the comments below what you noticed about your posture throughout your day.
*Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practitioner’s Manual.
Yoga's Relaxation Pose is also called Corpse pose or Shavasana. The term corpse is used because the pose is about letting go completely and surrendering into the support of the floor. It can be quite calming and relaxing. For some it is challenging to get still without being asleep.
The pose is also a resting pose for the physical body and propping your knees either on a chair or with blankets is the most effective for releasing pressure on the lumbar spine.
- Lie on your back with your knees over a chair or rolled blankets.
- Scoot forward toward your chair or blankets with your knee creases at the edge.
- Prop your head so your forehead is level with your chin- you do not want your head to tilt back as this causes compression in your neck.
- Allow your arms to rest near your sides with your palms facing up or you can bend your elbows and place your hands on your belly.
- If your mind is busy place a few folded blankets on your chest.
- Rest here for 5-10 minutes with easy breathing.
Use this pose when you are tired, stressed or achy and let me know in the comments below how it felt. If you were anxious, what do you think happened?