Yoga For Back Pain
Backache is one of the most common disorders today. Every year in the United States alone estimated two millions new members join the rank of multitude of sufferers from chronic back pain, while in the United Kingdom the syndrome is second only to bouts of respiratory disease(colds, flu, bronchitis etc) as a leading cause of lost working hour in trade and industry. It is estimated that between 50% and 60%of the population will suffer from an incident of acute or more long term back pain at some stage during their life.
In spite of the magnitude of the problem , a simple effective cure for the backache has proven to be elusive to modern medical science. For this reason most doctors lack confidence in treating backache patients effectively and therapy often becomes long ,drawn out and frustrating affair for the doctor and the patient alike . As a result the attitude of the chronic back pain sufferers is commonly a fatalistic and resigned acceptance of this painful condition-“till death us do part.”
However our experience is that this resignation need not to be the case for the yoga offers a simple , effective and permanent cure for this troublesome condition. We have found that many chronic back pain sufferers who have resigned themselves to a life of pain after diagnosis of incurable spinal degeneration or early osteoarthritis can be liberated from their problem and from later recurrences a few days or weeks after adopting a simple daily yoga program. Furthermore the small percentage of patients (perhaps 5%)who are actually found upon X-ray examination to be suffering from prolapse of as inter-vertebral disc prove to equally amenable to yoga therapy.
Back Pain Causes
This question is hotly debated in the therapeutic circles. However, recent studies have shown that the majority of backaches are caused simply by muscular insufficiency and inadequate flexibility of muscles and tendons. This clearly contradicts the popular prevailing belief that a high percentage of backache is caused by slipped disc, arthritis and degenerative joint disease or organic conditions such as bone cancer , Pagets disease and rickets.
Research studies for Backache
In one study, conducted jointly by the researchers from New York University and Columbia University, USA, a random sample of 5,000 consecutive patients presenting themselves a hospital casualty departments complaining of backache were followed up. It was shown that in 81% of the cases, the back was found to have no connection with herniated inter-vertebral disc, tumours or organic condition of any kind. For over 4000 of the patients investigated, back pain arose simply yet agonizingly from muscular strain and stiffness.
A similar study of 5000 patients conducted by Dr W. D. Friedman of the L. C. D. Rehabilitation and Research Center, USA, obtained almost identical results, concluding that in four out of five patients acute back pain occurs simply because functional demand upon the back muscle exceeds their capacity.
The failure to recognize this simple fact is probably the major reason why back pain is so poorly treated at the present time.
The Mechanism of Common Back Pain
The lower back pain is the most common site of backache followed by the neck and the region between the shoulder blades. This pain arise when the muscles surrounding and supporting the spinal column are held rigidly and uncomfortably contracted over a long period of time. This situation commonly arises after long hours in an uncomfortable car seats and office chairs. When this goes on day after day, the muscles gradually go into a state of tight painful spasm which becomes semi-permanent, as fibroblasts infiltrate the troublesome region, laying down fibrous tissues. These fibrosed areas can be readily felt as deep hardened bands and nodules within the tender back muscles.
Chronic backache tends to be worse at the day’s end and is relieved by massage, heat, relaxation and bed rest. It responds readily and permanently to a program of yoga asana and relaxation aimed at increasing the functional capacity of the weak muscles.
Acute Back Pain
Acute back pain is usually a variation upon this theme. This is back pain of sudden onset and agonizing severity, which renders the victim completely immobile and helpless. This pain can strike at any time, especially in those leading a sedentary lifestyle characterized by lack of exercise and overweight, both of which contribute to functional inadequacy of the back muscles. Acute back pain commonly arises after a trivial jolt or insignificant movement such as a cough or sneeze. Agonizing pain accompanies every subsequent back movement, to such an extent that movement becomes practically impossible.
This is by no means a rare occurrence, for statistics suggest that between 50 and 60 percent of the population will suffer just such an incident sometimes in their life.
When one is in this predicament, the first thing to do is to get into bed as soon as possible. The muscles surrounding the injured area quickly go into spasm to provide a protective immobilizing splint, preventing all further movement of the area. By immediately getting into bed the body demands are reduced and the muscles can safely relax a little.
In the acute situation, severe back pain can be effectively relieved by pain killer and complete bed rest. The bed should have a solid wooden supporting base beneath the mattress.
Application of heat to the affected area by fomentation or hot water bottle also brings relief. Stiffness can be avoided by gradually moving the position in bed from time to time. Alternatively, relief may be gained by applying a cold compress (ice blocks in a cloth are ideal) and some patients obtain best relief from alternating hot and cold compresses every few minutes. Gentle massage several times a day also facilitates recovery.
Ninety percent of cases of acute back pain will fully recover with a week of bed rest, with vast relief after a day or two. The problem then becomes one of preventive recurrence and yoga proves of great benefit.
Yoga Program to Relieve Back Pain
These programs should be practiced for 15-20 minutes each morning without fail followed by 15-20 minutes in Shavasana. This program is specifically designed to increase the functional efficiency of the various muscle groups responsible for Lower Back Pain, Upper Back Pain and should be learned under expert guidance. There are thousands of websites demonstrating yoga poses for back pain relief and so. Being a Yoga Instructor I strongly suggest that the yoga for back pain should start under expert guidance as the degree of pain is different for different people so in case of low elasticity in muscles if someone tries a strong yoga for back pain pose after learning from some website then he or she may harm and the yoga will do more harm than good in such case. Reassess the state of your back and general health after one month.
- For lower back muscles: Ardha Shalabhasana, Shalabhasana, Ushtrasana, Makarasana, Bhujangasana.
- For shoulders and the upper back muscles: Dwikonasana, Sarpasana, Bhujangasana, Marjari-asana, Kandharasana.
- Relaxation in Shavasana or Advasana: With the visualization of the congested back muscles relaxing, letting go off tension and flushing the area with fresh blood. Pranic energy is visualized flowing into the back muscles in conjunction with the breath.
Diet for Back Pain Relief
Correction of back pain is facilitated when a light vegetarian diet is consumed and excess weight is removed. Correction of chronic constipation often brings spontaneous remission of back pain. In this respect optimal diet consists of whole grains, chapattis or whole meal bread, pulse, vegetables (steam, boiled or salad) fruits, nuts and juices. Avoid excessive sugar, milk and dairy products, oil, meat and spices.
It’s a proven traditional method of Chinese medicine for centuries. What I love about Acupressure for Back Pain is that it cures the root of the problem, and not just treat the symptoms like so many of the modern medicine nowadays do. If you get the flu, the antibiotics get rid of the flu, but they don’t boost your immune system to help you counter the next flu virus that comes around. Acupressure for Back Pain serves to get to the
cause of what’s affecting you daily.
Unlike acupuncture for Back Pain, acupressure for Back Pain doesn’t require needles to be penetrated into the skin. Acupressure for Back Pain uses massaging techniques to stimulate energy flow between the meridian points of the body.