After headache, back pain is the most common neurological ailment in the United States, and nearly everyone suffers from lower-back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, Americans spend at least $50 billion a year on lower-back pain alone. But there is one treatment that won't cost you anything, except some time. A study published in the journal Spine found that yoga for lower-back pain is an effective way to erase the pain. In fact, study authors found those who practiced yoga twice a week experienced significantly less lower-back pain, disability, and depression than those using conventional treatment, such as painkillers. Want to try it? Read on for some easy yoga moves for lower-back pain, recommended by Kristen Schultz Dollard, author of The Yoga Body Diet. (Before you do, make sure your doctor has ruled out a herniated disk or any other serious condition as the source of your chronic pain.)
If you're just starting out, try to hold each of the following poses for three to five breaths, then return slowly to the starting position. As the moves become more comfortable, you can repeat each one to give your muscles more of a workout.
Get on your hands and knees; tuck your toes, and press your palms into the floor, lifting your hips. Straighten your legs and press your heels down. Hold and release.