Acupoints along the Du Mai meridian (located on the spine) are often leveraged to increase back and spine strength and alleviate pain associated with bulging discs and arthritis. In between your acupuncture appointments, there are many simple stretches and poses that our acupuncturists at Balance Within in Encino will give you to keep your treatment and healing going. You can do these at home to lengthen and strengthen the muscles along your spine. To see which stretches and acupuncture points are best for your type of back pain or to book an appointment please contact our Encino or Sherman Oaks acupuncture office and speak to one of our acupuncture specialists to help with your pain management.
Even a few minutes each day can make a big difference. Here are two simple yoga poses to build back strength, supporting you in all you do each day.
A staple of many modern yoga classes, flowing through cat and cow poses is a great way to slowly warm up your spine and introduce gentle movement. Set up this pose by kneeling on your hands and knees, making sure to stack your knees directly below your hips and your wrists directly below your shoulders to protect your joints. On your inhales, drop your belly toward the floor and bring your gaze up toward the ceiling. On your exhales, arch through your spine, bringing your gaze in toward your belly button. Flow through these two postures, inhaling into cow pose and exhaling into cat pose as many times as you like. Try to move through each vertebrae each time you transition to access movement and stretching along the entire length of your spine. Please note, these poses and stretches should not be done without consulting with your healthcare practitioner. These are very general stretches and yoga poses for back pain and may exacerbate certain types of back pain if not properly.
Incorporating regular acupuncture treatments along with daily stretching is an effective gentle, non invasive approach to treating back pain. Below are some pictures of general stretches that may help.
Another very common pose, cobra pose is a great way to strengthen your spine without putting too much pressure on your joints, keeping you safe from injury. For this posture, lie flat on your stomach, and bend your elbows to place your hands directly under your shoulders with your forehead resting on the ground. As you inhale, lift your head and upper back off the floor, keeping your chin slightly tucked so your spine is still in one long line. Don’t use the strength of your arms to lift you off the ground, but rather just use the strength of your spine. It’s okay if you don’t lift up very far; you’re building muscle no matter how far off the ground you get. This pose may aggravate certain types of back pain. If you have questions about which stretches are best for your type of back pain, please contact our Sherman Oaks or Encino acupuncture office and speak to one of our pain management acupuncture specialists.
Even though these two poses are a very low-impact way to incorporate movement and spinal strengthening into each day they may still cause discomfort and irritation. It is best to contact one of our pain management acupuncturists to see what stretches are best for your back pain. Just like eating well after working out will support your muscles in growing even stronger, stretching and exercising in between acupuncture appointments will have a cumulative effect on each treatment, allowing the therapy to do even more for your health.