Learn 15 easy poses and stretches that are back-friendly and can help ease and prevent back pain. Master
the seven movements of the spine that you can practice every day, as well as how to: Stretch and strengthen legs, hips and lower back muscles to release chronic tightness and increase flexibility of the spine; strengthen core to increase spinal stability; and practice diaphragmatic breathing to understand the mechanics of the breath and how it contributes to both core stability and releasing and lengthening the spine. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that yoga is as effective as standard physical therapy for treating moderate to severe chronic low back pain. And clinical guidelines released by the American College of Physicians recommend yoga as a first step to treat chronic low back pain. While you’re managing back pain, you diminish stress, strengthen immunity and increase overall well-being. Printed guidelines are emailed following the class. You need to be able to lie on your back (with a cushion under the knees for support, and/or a folded towel under the head for support, if needed). It’s suggested you avoid yoga if you have certain back problems, such as a spinal fracture or a herniated disc.