People often ask if Yoga for lower back pain works?
One thing is for sure…. Back Pain is a B**** – It can creep up at you when you least expect it, and leave you gasping for breath. Back pain makes you feel like you’re going to snap right in half ! Therefor as a result it can make us unhappy and sad about getting moving.
For example, you’ve probably googled stretches for lower back pain many times but what exactly can Yoga do?
But is it really something sinister when our backs hurt? – NOT likely says the current research!
I’ll start by giving you the basic facts about Back Pain, after that we’ll cover some Yoga.
Most of the time you don’t actually ‘put’ your back out at all – as we all have learnt to describe it, because you are built perfectly and rarely fall apart. Whoever came up with that saying I hope their back’s out! because it has caused so much unnecessary worry and unrealistic imagination about what is going on.
So WHAT can happen to the back? (this is not a full exhaustive list)
In this paragraph i’m going to break down some facts about back pain. Firstly what is common, secondly what is less common and thirdly how to know if you should get checked. Moreover I’ll discuss a little bit about chronic pain and other reasons we hurt. In conclusion, most back pain is no more than a strain and we shouldn’t worry, but when should we do so?
- It can be a muscle spasm, or a so called strain to a muscle (accounts for a large percentage) Reasons are not always traceable but it might be due to muscles being fatigued, small traumas during movement when muscles were fatigued catching them off guard with that heavy box……one thing is for sure: MUSCLES REALLY HURT !
- You could have some degeneration in the back (accounts for a relatively low percentage of cases) A bit like osteoarthritis. This type of pain is not so common in younger people, but if you’ve been diagnosed with ‘wear and tear’ (I hate that saying), then they may be referring to degenerative changes.
- A herniated, prolapsed or angry disc (accounts for an even smaller percentage of cases) . This is quite common in the under 50s , but really not as horrific as we all thought. Having learnt that the physical condition of your discs does not correlate with pain.
- Ligament damage or other musculoskeletal pain hurting around the back, ie lifting bending twisting – these sudden onsets of sharp local back pain may be caused by tissue damage
Persistant Pain , present for longer than 3 Months.
CHRONIC PAIN – Finally, you could have chronic pain…. this is a tough one, hard to manage but not all is lost.
Firstly, Choronic pain is hard to diagnose meaning that it can be a disappointing journey for you, filled with achey days and sleepless nights. Secondly the fact that medical practitioners don’t always have a solution for you may lead you to feel hopeless, however there is lots of new research to suggest that we can treat chronic pain and YOGA is definitely one of the helpers. Moreover Chronic pain can go on for a very long time and will need a lot of acceptance and hard work to ease. In conclusion though, there are lots of ways to attack your chronic pain, including great APPS that can help you track your progress. https://www.curablehealth.com/ <—- Click here to check out curable.
Side Note: You can have something else going on in the body, sending pain to your back as referral. This includes periods but can also include more serious pathology. Rare and unlucky – I wouldn’t consider this in your case… If you have experienced weight loss, night sweats , pain that just won’t go away with rest or sleep or changes to bladder bowel habits along with back pain or have a history of cancer with the above, the evidence suggests it would be a good idea to go to the doctor and have it checked.
Yoga for a bad back, how can we help?
The benefits of Yoga for a bad back.
Lets recap on what brings us to the Yoga Studio looking for stretches for yoga back pain.
- A LARGE percentage of back pain in the absence of a serious pathology is a strain or mechanical ache. NOT serious and will heal.
- We know that sitting for a long time seems to hurt us right?
- Tissue damage heals – almost always!!
Top 4 benefits Yoga can offer:
🌸 Firstly it gets you moving – because injury and pain has strong links with lack of movement.
🌸 Secondly it gets you breathing – meaning you have better oxygen throughout the body and much better drainage.
🌸 Thirdly it makes your blood pump better – Giving you a better Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular system.
🌸 And most importantly yoga gives you calm of mind and relaxes away your stress, which has great outcomes for your back pain.
Further to the above points, Yoga can help to drain your lymph through the movement of muscles and postures. Would you like to know a little routine that will help you feel better about your back? Well it’s simple – and NO yoga cannot have the whole limelight here ! ANY MOVEMENT IS GOOD! The evidence is overwhelming on this subject. The physios, Osteos and Chiros are screaming it now – ANY movement is GOOD! But Yoga has a little extra special va va voom right? The Candles, Music and connection to yourself. Why does this work so well?
In conclusion – If you move, you’ll probably feel better!
Because many of us are feeling the pressure of a busy life right?
Am I wrong? I bet not! Stress contributes to an incredible amount of physical ailments, from back pain to headaches to IBS – the list goes on. Yoga is designed to create a safe space for you to Ahhhhhhhhh, chill the **** out, because life is so short! 😍
AND What are the physical benefits of Yoga:
Yoga is a beautiful art of movement designed to strengthen and stretch you from head to toe. It’s gorgeous! I’ve many many students who have told me that the yoga practice has eradicated their back pain for a short time. (it’s not a miracle cure and NO you can’t ask for a refund if it doesn’t work)
- Strength – try a Warrior 2 for 5 MINUTES – Go on I dare ya!
- Flexibility – which is more about balancing the tensions in your body.
- Breath (causing calm, better blood pressure and drainage of your lymph)
- Eases the nervous system when it’s in hyper drive by relaxing you.
- Promotes Drainage of the Lymphatic system through movement.
- Creates community and kindness within you and others around you (to cultivate happiness within you)
Yoga Styles for Back Pain?
- The first one is so obvious but it does exist… Yoga for Back pain. Keep an eye out at your local studio.
- Restorative Yoga
- Gentle Yin Yoga for Backs
- Yoga Nidra meditation
- Hatha Yoga with a gentle focus.
Which Postures are Great for Back Pain? (just a couple of examples)
- Cat Cow Postures
- Seated Wide legged postures
- Standing Balance Postures
- Yin Yoga postures for the low back
Keep an eye out for the next Blog post which is all about the postures that best suit back pain.
But when is Yoga not great for your back?
- If I say Up you say…… (Down) Everything has it’s good and bad points right that is the art of balance in the universe. We need water to live but drink too much and you’ll die. Yoga is similar.
- Some styles of yoga will push you too far… not the teacher – the style and you. In the case of an angry disc, you’ll prefer NOT to bend forward and the entire class you go to may be bending forward …. well that’s not ideal.
- You need to learn about what suits you, and you may need a good instructor for that, one that knows how to get you to the right style, even design a class for you that suits your needs.
Firstly, It’s a good idea, when first starting out to contact a teacher and get some advice. Secondly, as part of their training, the teacher should have had some basic training on what not to do. moreover, they are not trained in dealing with your ailment though, for this sort of stuff you should also consult your Osteopath, Physio, Chiropractor and ask whether it is safe for you to do the exercise or whether you need something personally tailored.
Hopefully you’ll be saying in no time, I tried yoga and as a result I eased my back pain.
Yoga ~Therapy at ~Yomutra
Vics offers online consultations where she will assess you and reccomend a programe to try and get you back to health . Blick below to contact Vics and ask about this…