Yoga for Middle Back Pain

Whenever we hear about back pain, our first thoughts go to the lower back, and that makes sense because that has been the most prevalent form of back pain for sufferers everywhere. In today’s world, however, where so many of us spend hours each day hunched over our phones or computers, middle back pain is becoming increasingly prevalent. We should consider ourselves lucky that there exists simple, effective, and easily implemented yoga poses and routines to help alleviate the pain and tension in our middle backs.

Here, we’ll be taking a look at some of the yoga poses that specifically target the middle back so that you may obtain the relief you seek.

 Cat-Cow

This has the effect of moving a person’s entire spine to bring back the flexibility and mobility of your spinal column from your sacrum to the very top of your spine. Many consider it among the most effective yoga poses one can employ in their fight against middle back pain while being an effective reliever of upper and lower back pains.

How it works: Start on all fours with your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees. Inhale as soon as you drop your belly onto the ground. The crown of your head should simultaneously extend forward and upwards so that the muscles of your back are tensed. The shoulder blades on your back will be brought together. Your tailbone will be up in the air behind you. This is the cow position.

Next, bring your tailbone downward and slightly to the front so that your lower belly muscles are brought into play. The shoulder blades will part and slide to the sides of your back as you bring the crown of your head downward to further extend your spine. Your chin should end up tucked to your chest, with the overall pose resembling the way a cat arches its back when frightened. Repeat switching between the two poses slowly five more times to achieve the Cat-Cow.

 Staff Pose

This pose will allow you to feel the strength of your middle back as it supports the entire body. It is an excellent way to help correct improper posture, which is a very common syndrome in this day and age.

How it works: Sit yourself down on the ground with both your legs stretched out in front of you. Your feet should be flexed with the toes pointing upwards. Rotate the insides of your thighs inwards towards the floor as this will cause your lower back to widen and allow your tailbone to move into that space. The effect of this is that your lower belly becomes engaged. Take in a deep breath as you move your shoulders up and backward.

Imagine that the lower parts of your shoulder blades are shifting forward and upward to give support to your heart, opening up your chest cavity. Lower your hands back down to your sides so that they touch the ground. Have your chin pressed slightly back so that it aligns with your shoulders.

Take five to ten steady breaths before releasing the pose.

 Cobra

This pose is great for strengthening and engaging the muscles that line your thoracic vertebrae. Strengthening these muscles is useful as they are the ones supporting our upper body, which lies on top of our middle vertebrae, so it follows that a strong upper body will cause less stress on our middle backs.

How it works: Lay down on your belly with your hands placed underneath your shoulders, palms downwards. Raise your leg and rotate it in such a way that the inseam of your upper leg faces towards the ceiling. Extend your toes to point outwards as you bring this leg back down. Repeat the same movement with your other leg. Extend your tailbone down towards your heels but take care not to over-engage or clench your buttocks.

Now, take in a deep breath as you roll both your shoulders backwards so that the shoulder blades move closer to one another on your back. Doing this might cause your chest itself to rise off the ground, even if ever so slightly at first. Be sure that you are exerting your upper back during this process and there is no compression being experienced in your lower back.
Keep your gaze focused downward a little bit ahead of you so that your spine is kept long and relaxed.
Take five to ten steady breaths before lowering yourself back down and taking a rest.

Should you wish to give yourself more of a challenge, you may raise your hands some way off the ground. Imagine drawing your elbows towards the ceiling and back again toward your heels. This engages the middle back excellently.

 Shoulder Flossing

This is a great pose for allowing us to feel the motions and movements of our shoulder blades along our backs. The shoulder muscles play a large role in the condition of our middle back region, as they support the upper spinal column that rests on the middle back. Shoulder Flossing thus helps a great deal when dealing with back pain as it works to release and strengthen the muscles of our shoulders.

How it works: Start on all fours (hands and knees) with your shoulders right above your wrists and your hips right above your knees. Elongate your tailbone downwards, trying to get it slightly underneath you to engage the muscles of your lower belly. At the same time, you will be trying to lengthen your spine by reaching forward with the crown of your head.

Inhale and push off against the floor so that you will feel your shoulder blades slide off your back as they separate, allowing your upper and middle back arches. On your exhalation, bring your shoulder blades back together and allow your chest to resume its place closer to the ground. Be sure to maintain a certain amount of steadiness in your hips as you go through these steps.

Before you begin

Practicing these yoga poses for middle back pain management and prevention may be just what you needed, but some cases will require a bit more assistance than this. We always advise those in considerable or constant pain to consult with their doctors before beginning their yoga regimen. Your health, comfort, and safety always comes first.

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