There is no one answer to this question. Here are guidelines on which you can make your decision.
Self-Assess Your Pain
Check the level of your back pain
1. Is it extremely painful along with inflammation or is it a dull chronic back ache?
If it is very inflamed and painful, then yoga and exercises might increase the pain.
2. Does the pain feel better after you move (even in a few directions?) or it feels worse after you move?
If the pain improves the stiffness and thus the pain, Yoga asanas or stretches can help you.
Since Yoga exercises vary in difficulty, decide the Yoga poses (asanas) you may want to perform upfront. For the most part, you should be able to perform Breathing exercises, Om Pranayama and meditation safely with back pain. If breathing exercises are painful while sitting unsupported on the floor, perform them by sitting on a chair with your back supported.
Yoga poses are broadly divided into Forward bending, Backward bending and Lateral bending poses.
Notice if your back triggers with a particular kind or direction of pose. If sustaining a stretch for long is very painful, then hold the pose for a shorter span of time. It is important to find out the cause of back pain. Is it flat feet, tightness of calf muscles, knee arthritis , tightness of Piriformis muscle, weakness of hip muscles or tightness of hip flexors? It is important to target the right muscles during exercises. A Physical Therapist can help you with the same.
1. Remember that if a particular pose or asana hurts your back then don’t do it.
2. Listen to your body and respect your pain. It is okay to feel muscle soreness (sweet good ache) in your muscles after exercises but it is not okay to have dull nagging ache.
Get your low back evaluated at Spineck Physical Therapy (Ph: 551-208-3234) to know which Yoga asana will help your low back and which one will not.