The Best Yoga Poses for Degenerative Disc Disease

Suffering from degenerative disc disease? You’re not alone. Discover the best yoga poses to help reduce the discomfort and improve your quality of life.

Quick facts: Best Yoga Poses For Degenerative Disc Disease

  • ✅ Yoga can help alleviate the pain associated with degenerative disc disease (Harvard Health Publishing).
  • ✅ Prone poses such as Cobra, Bow, and Locust can help to stretch and strengthen the spine (Spine-health).
  • ✅ Forward bends and twisting poses can help to reduce pressure on the discs (Yoga Journal).
  • ✅ Inverted poses such as Shoulder Stand and Plow can help to increase circulation and reduce inflammation (Yoga Basics).
  • ✅ Upright poses such as Mountain and Warrior poses can help to balance the spine (Yoga International).

Checkout this video:


Yoga is an excellent way to promote physical health and well-being, especially for those suffering from degenerative disc disease (DDD). Practicing yoga poses can help to strengthen the core muscles, as well as improve flexibility and balance. In addition, research has also shown that yoga can help to reduce pain and improve mobility.

In this article, we will be exploring the best yoga poses for DDD:

Overview of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a condition in which the spinal discs begin to wear out, leading to pain and discomfort. A healthy spine is made up of vertebrae, or bones, that are cushioned by shock-absorbing discs. These discs are composed of an outer layer known as the annulus fibrosus, filled with a gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus.

As the discs wear down, they become less cushiony and cause pain when the vertebrae rub against each other.

While there is no cure for DDD, certain yoga poses can help improve flexibility in the spine and alleviate some of the associated discomfort. It is essential to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen as performing incorrect poses may lead to injury or further deterioration of your condition.

Benefits of Yoga for Degenerative Disc Disease

Yoga can be a great way to help with pain relief and range of motion issues related to degenerative disc disease. It is a low impact exercise that can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine and improve flexibility. Practicing certain poses can help increase back strength and improve balance, both of which can reduce the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.

Let’s take a look at the best yoga poses to help with degenerative disc disease:

Improved Mobility

For people with degenerative disc disease, improved mobility is one of the main benefits of yoga. By incorporating yoga poses that focus on stretching, strengthening, and increasing range of motion in the spine, practitioners can reduce the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.

The goal for these poses is to improve flexibility, balance and control in the back muscles that support the spine. This helps to counteract the compressive forces that put pressure on spinal discs due to poor posture and lack of movement. By improving mobility through yoga poses such as Cat-Cow pose, Downward Dog pose, Triangle pose, Cobra pose and Bridge pose people with degenerative disc disease can better manage their symptoms.

Pain Reduction

Yoga can be a great way to help manage the pain associated with degenerative disc disease (DDD). Through mindful movements, you can target and release tension in the body that leads to discomfort. The poses recommended for DDD are gentle and restorative, focusing on relieving tension in the area of the disc rather than overstretching or putting too much pressure on an injured area.

The poses can also stretch key muscles around your back, such as your hamstrings or glutes, which can take some of the pressure off of your discs. This can lead to muscle relaxation and reduce pain from tightness or spasms that often occur when one is dealing with a degenerative disc condition. Additionally, breathing exercises associated with yoga can help ease pain while stimulating blood flow around your discs, helping them heal faster.

Improved Posture

Yoga can be a great way to improve posture for those with degenerative disc disease. Posture is essential for keeping the spine in alignment and preventing further damage.

Some beneficial yoga poses for improving posture in those with degenerative disc disease include:

  • Sun salutations and mountain pose which can increase flexibility and strengthen the spine.
  • Seated twists which involve twisting the torso to one side while seated, can help increase mobility and flexibility in the spine.
  • Backbends such as the cobra pose or bridge pose can be used to stretch out compressed discs which may lead to reduced pain and improved posture.

Recommended Yoga Poses

Yoga poses can help promote a healthy spine and can help prevent and manage the degenerative disc disease. Certain poses can help improve your posture, flexibility, and muscular strength, which can help maintain your spine’s health.

Let’s take a look at some recommended poses for degenerative disc disease:

Cat-Cow Pose

The cat-cow pose, also known as the marjariasana-bitilasana sequence, is an excellent choice for people with degenerative disc disease. It helps stretch the neck, spine, and torso muscles while strengthening them.

To do the cat-cow pose:

  1. Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Inhale and arch your back as you drop your belly toward the floor (cat pose). As you add more length to your spine, lift through the crown of your head and tuck in your chin slightly.
  3. Exhale as you round through the spine (cow pose). With each breath, deeply engage both poses for three to five breaths each.

The cat-cow sequence will help increase flexibility in the spine while relieving pain from tight muscles.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

The Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is a classic yoga pose that is beneficial for people with degenerative disc disease. This pose helps to decompress the spine and increase flexibility of the back muscles and hamstrings, which can provide pain relief. It also reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation.

Start by coming on to your hands and knees in a tabletop position with your hands aligned directly below your shoulders. Then, place your toes on the ground so that they point back towards you, and press up through your arms until your legs straighten out. Make sure to maintain an even weight distribution as you hold this pose for up to one minute. As you get comfortable with the pose, you can gradually increase the duration of time spent in the pose:

  • Start with 1 minute
  • Gradually increase to 3 minutes
  • Hold for 5 minutes or more

Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose, or “Bhujangasana,” is one of the best yoga poses for those with degenerative disc disease. This pose helps to strengthen and support the back while at the same time providing a gentle stretch to the spine. It is known to promote flexibility and can help reduce pain associated with degenerative disc disease (DDD).

To do this pose, start by lying facedown on a comfortable mat or towel with your hands directly under your shoulders. As you inhale, gently press your hands into the floor and lift your chest off the ground. Your hips should remain on the ground and keep your elbows slightly bent. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds before slowly exhaling as you lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeating this pose several times a day can help relieve pain associated with DDD.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a gentle yoga pose that helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while relieving tension throughout the body. This pose is often recommended for those who suffer from degenerative disc disease (DDD) as it helps to relieve pain and promote the release of endorphins. This can help reduce stress and calm the nervous system. Additionally, this pose helps to gently massage your lower back and open up your hips.

To come into Child’s Pose, start on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your toes together. Exhale as you bring your buttocks towards your heels while extending your arms out in front of you. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute while breathing deeply, then come up onto all fours when ready.


It is important to exercise caution when practicing yoga if you are suffering from degenerative disc disease. It is best to consult with an experienced yoga instructor or physical therapist before attempting any poses. They will be able to guide you on the poses suitable specifically for you, as well as provide modifications if needed.

Let’s discuss what precautions you should take when doing yoga with degenerative disc disease:

Avoid poses that cause pain

When practicing yoga with degenerative disc disease, it is important to take certain precautions and avoid poses that cause pain. First and foremost, it is important to check in with your body and to only do yoga poses if they feel comfortable rather than forcing yourself into a particular pose. It is recommended that poses should be done slowly with focus on the breath, in order to decrease the risk of further injury or discomfort.

Avoid poses that cause compression of the spine such as forward folds, backbends and twists. Inversions should also be avoided as they can increase pressure on the discs. Additionally, some avoided modifications are recommended in order to modify any pose which you find difficult or uncomfortable; this could be using a chair for support or using props such as bolsters or straps.

Listen to your body

When it comes to doing yoga as a form of exercise for degenerative disc disease, it is important to listen to your body. Stop doing any pose that causes you pain. Instead of pushing yourself and forcing yourself into deeper stretches or postures, take a deep breath and come out of the posture if it hurts.

You should also make sure to not hold poses for too long, especially if you feel the slightest bit of pain. It is better to practice smaller but more frequent bursts than a long session because this can put added stress on your body. Make sure that you let yourself rest in between poses, even if only for a few breaths before proceeding further with your practice. Be mindful and don’t push yourself too hard as this could cause further injury or worsen your symptoms from degenerative disc disease.

Modify poses as needed

When doing any type of yoga poses to alleviate lower back pain, it is important to be mindful and modify movements as necessary. Depending on the severity of person’s degenerative disc disease (DDD), modifications may be needed in order to avoid further injury.

For example, people with DDD should avoid poses that require an extreme forward bend or extreme backbend. Instead, focus on poses that maintain the natural curves of the spine and use strong breath work to generate sensation without pain. Also, when performing reclined poses such as Reclines Twist or Supported Bridge pose, place a thick block under the head for support. For standing poses consider using chairs for support or a wall for balance as needed.

It’s also important to take breaks from time to time when performing yoga poses and focus on simple stretches and long inhalations and exhalations during your practice. Be sure to listen to your body and if anything feels uncomfortable or painful, stop immediately.


In conclusion, yoga can be a great form of exercise for those with degenerative disc disease. It can help improve flexibility, reduce pain, and improve mobility. However, it is important to make sure that you are aware of what poses may cause further damage and to always practice under the guidance of a qualified and experienced instructor.

Summary of benefits

Practicing yoga can be immensely beneficial for those with degenerative disc disease. This form of exercise, which promotes flexibility and strength, can help limit pain and improve overall health and well-being.

Some of the best poses for people with DDD are:

  • Cat-Cow pose
  • Child’s pose
  • Bridge pose
  • Standing forward fold pose
  • Downward facing dog pose
  • Extended triangle pose

By doing these poses regularly as part of a carefully designed yoga regimen guided by an experienced instructor, people with DDD can experience a decreased level of pain and improved range of motion. Furthermore, practicing yoga can help promote relaxation and reduce stress that can exacerbate the symptoms of this condition.

Summary of recommended poses

This article discussed which yoga poses are best to do if you suffer from degenerative disc disease (DDD). Regular exercise can help those with DDD manage the pain associated with the condition. However, there are some poses that should be avoided.

Yoga can be beneficial for those with DDD, particularly poses that focus on core strength and stability. Some of the recommended postures include Cat/Cow, Downward-Facing Dog, Sphinx Pose, Cobra Pose, and Child’s Pose. These poses should not involve intense twisting or arching of the back.

In conclusion, regular exercise is recommended for those with degenerative disc disease to help reduce pain and improve function. Yoga is a great option for those looking to build strength and improve flexibility; however, it is important to make sure you are choosing postures that are appropriate for your condition. When practicing yoga for DDD it is important to avoid any postures that involve intense twisting or arching your back.

FAQs about: Best Yoga Poses For Degenerative Disc Disease

Q: What are some of the best yoga poses for degenerative disc disease?

A: Cat/Cow, Downward Facing Dog, Cobra Pose, Child’s Pose, and Bridge Pose are some of the best yoga poses for degenerative disc disease.

Q: What precautions should I take while doing yoga poses for degenerative disc disease?

A: When doing yoga poses for degenerative disc disease, it is important to take into consideration the severity of your symptoms and any areas of discomfort. It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. It is also important to practice with a qualified instructor who is familiar with your condition.

Q: Are there any specific poses to avoid when practicing yoga for degenerative disc disease?

A: Yes, it is important to avoid poses that involve deep forward bending, excessive twisting, and intense backbends. It is best to avoid poses such as Wheel Pose, Camel Pose, and Headstand. It is also important to avoid poses that involve any sudden or jerking movements.

Similar Posts