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Yoga for Slipped Disc and Sciatica

By on September 2, 2016

Yoga provides permanent cure for Slipped Disc also known as “Herniated Disc / Disk”, “Bulging Disc”, “Pinched Nerve” and the pain attached to the said spinal disc issue.

Slipped disc / Herniated Disc and sciatica are two painful, closely related conditions occurring most commonly in the lower (lumbar) region of the back, usually due to excessive straining while bending forwards.



Anatomy of Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica

The human spinal column consists of thirty-three individual bones, termed vertebrae, stacked one on top of the other and supported by the thick and powerful spinal muscles. The spinal discs are cushion- like, fluid –filled pads lying in between each pair of vertebrae. These discs act as shock absorbers, preventing the brain, spinal cord and internal organs from jarring and damage as we walk. They are filled with a thick jelly-like fluid and are held in position by strong ligaments attached to the margins of the discs and to the bony vertebra.

Causes of Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica

Slipped disc / Herniated Disc occurs where excessive strain is brought to bear upon the lower back region, causing one of these discs to rupture and tear. As a result the jelly-like disc fluid inside protrudes outwards and may impinge on the nerve root. The most common sites of this painful and immobilizing injury are in the lower back at the L4-L5 or the L5-S1 discs. The injury most commonly occurs while bending forward with the knees straight to shift a weight from the floor or while shoveling or weeding in the garden. It can also occur simply while releasing the clutch pedal while driving a car.

This painful and immobilizing injury usually occurs when a person with weak spinal muscles and ligaments due to a sedentary lifestyle applies an excessive strain to the back. It seldom occurs in seasoned laborers or manual workers, but is frequently seen in sedentary workers who are unused to regular exercise.

The onset of slipped disc is usually sudden and immediate. Something is felt to ‘go’ or ‘tear’ in the lower back, followed by a sharp, well localized , low back pain which may be agonizing. The sufferers remains incapacitated, either unable to straighten up again or else unable to bend the back slightly, as this gives rise to immediate, severe pain. He or she is usually brought to bed or for X-rays examination soon after. Over the next few hours the pain continues to worsen until it is constant and unremitting. This occurs as the ligaments and tissues around the injured; protruding disc become engorged with blood and tissue fluids. The protective covering of the spinal muscles rapidly goes into tight spasm to prevent further painful movement of the area, and the delicate pain fibers supplying the torn disc and its ligaments become increasingly irritated. The area becomes inflamed, swollen and very tender.

Sciatica refers to a sharp, lightning-like pain which shoots down the back of the leg. It occurs if the herniating material from the ruptured lumbar spinal disc impinges on the delicate nerve roots emerging through the lower three lumbar and the first two sacral segments of the spinal column which converge to form a sciatica nerve.

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The sciatic nerve runs down the back of each leg, supplying the skin and muscles of the back of the thighs, calves and soles. This is why sciatic pain may be experienced in the buttocks, thigh or calf, even though the root of the problem lies in the lower back region. In response to this pain the muscles of the back of the leg go into tight spasm, especially if the sufferer continues to walk, because each step stretches and further irritates the injured nerve root.

Long term prognosis and complications of Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica

Many slipped disc and sciatica sufferers have a long term history of recurring bouts of crippling incapacity stretching back for many years. The slightest sudden strain, twist or bending is often sufficient to initiate the whole injury process once again. As a result they no longer enjoy the full, active life. They may easily become dependent on analgesic drugs for pain relief and are forced to frequently take time off from work or household duties in order to rest in bed.

Usually their employers, colleagues and even family members are initially sympathetic, but may later come to regard the problem as a psychological one, being unable to comprehend a life punctuated by continual incapacitating bouts of back pain.

Sufferers often develop personality disorders as well, becoming depressed, niggardly or irritable. They are often labelled as ‘whiners’ or ‘complainers’ and others avoid their company. Marital, family and social relationships commonly deteriorate as the problem continues to recur. Supportive belts worn beneath the clothing are usually prescribed, offering some relief from the physical problem but no prospect of cure. This is the unfortunate predicament of many long-term sufferers.

People who have suffered from slipped disc for a long time frequently come to surgery for the removal of the troublesome disc and permanent fusion of the inter-vertebral joint. This procedure which renders the lower spine permanently stiff and straight may nevertheless provide relief to the individuals who have come to a point of physical and emotional exhaustion and physic depletion after many years of suffering. It is an alternative which is far from ideal, but which is often appears to be the only solution to this difficult predicament.

Initial recovery and management of Slipped Disc  / Herniated Disc and Sciatica

Slipped disc, with or without accompanying sciatica, demands immediate immobilization on a hard bed. Absolute bed is necessary while the ruptured heals and the inflammation subsides. In the first few days relief from the pain gained by supplying alternative hot or cold packs over the tender, inflamed area. Aspirin and muscle relaxant may also be prescribed.

It is important that spine is kept immobilized as far as possible, as total rest is the quickest route to recovery. No attempt should be made to walk or leave the bed for any reason. The sufferers should rest in quiet room with minimal disturbance until healing is completed. Meals should be brought to the bed and for toilet purposes bedpan should be available. This regime allows healing to take place in ten to fourteen days. However, occasionally, months are required for a severe injury. Yoga speeds up recovery if practiced correctly.

Yoga for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica

The basic yogic practices for slipped disc / Herniated Disk and sciatica are the backward bending asanas which strengthen the posterior ligaments and muscles holding the disc in position and promote the flow of blood into the lower spinal region. Backward bending asana should be practiced to capacity, gradually increasing the time of practice of time each day in order to restore spinal stability and regain a full range of back movement. In this way normal activity can be gradually adopted, while surgical intervention usually proves unnecessary. Recurrences are prevented by regular, ongoing practice. We recommended the following program:

Asanas for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica:

In the acute stage of immobilizing pain, a prone (face down) posture on a hard bed should be adopted. Resting in Makarasana for the extended periods reduces strain upon the disc and emerging nerve roots, proving relief of pain and promoting healing. Sleeping in Advasana and Jyestikasana is recommended. Matysa kridasana with the affected leg drawn up to the chest to relieve the tension upon the damaged nerve roots will bring relief. These postures will be adopted for relief of pain in the acute situation, so that as much total, undisturbed rest as possible can be gained.

As healing proceeds and pain diminishes, the first asana to be attempted is the simplified version of Bhujangasana, known as Sphinx asana. Aim to relax all the tensions in the lower back. If the pain develops, lower yourself in Advasana. Practice this five times. Once the sphinx asana has been mastered, the following asana can be adopted gradually in this order: Shalabhasana, Sarpasana, Saral dhanurasana, Meru vakrasana, Bhu Namasana. Ultimately the program should be practiced fully each morning. Each asana should be practiced a maximum of 5 times and should be followed by complete relaxation in Advasana.

Click Here to know about a natural healing process which boosts the recovery from Slipped Disc and Sciatica and is double effective when applied with yoga therapy.

Precaution in Slipped Disc / Herniated Disk and Sciatica:

Avoid all forward bending asanas for at least six months as these can precipitate a recurrence of the original condition. After the recovery is completed, they may be reintroduced carefully under guidance, beginning with Shashankasan, Marjari-asana, Shashank bhujangasna and the Shakti bandha series.

Throughout the recovery period, the cross-legged sitting postures should be avoided. Especially if they cause pain through increasing tension on the nerve roots in the lower region. Pranayama and meditation in Vajrasana are recommended.

How to Relax in Slipped Disc / Herniated Disk and Sciatica?

Each session should be concluded with deep relaxation for 15 or 20 minutes advasana. Later on, Shavasana can be adopted, and the longer practice of yoga nidra can be introduced.

How to meditate in Slipped Disc / Herniated Disk and Sciatica?

Movement of breathe awareness in the spinal passage from mooldhara chakra in the tail bone up to Ajna chakra at the top of the spinal column is beneficial and effective in all spinal disorders, particularly slipped disc and sciatica. It can be practiced in any position with the spine straight. In the beginning, Aadvasana will be suitable, though shavasana is better and should be commenced when the spine position can be adopted comfortably. Ajapa japa can be practiced as frequently and for as long as desired as it speeds healing and brings deep mental and physical relaxation. As recovery continues, the practice should continue in Vajrasana, and ultimately in one of the classical cross-legged meditation postures.

Diet for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica:

At the outset a light, semi-liquid diet should be adopted. Vegetable soup is ideal. Khichari (pulse boiled together with rice or wheat) is also recommended. This conserves vital energy, redirecting it towards the important healing process. It will also prevent constipation which often proves a major problem in bedridden patients. Constipation invariably worsens and aggravates painful back injuries and rheumatic conditions.

Click Here to know about a natural healing process which boosts the recovery from Slipped Disc and Sciatica and is double effective when applied with yoga therapy.

 As the condition improves, rice, pulses and vegetables can be added and also whole meal bread. Heavy, constipating foods such as meat, cheese and oily preparations are contraindicated. Dairy products (eggs, milk, ghee, etc.) should be avoided as extra protein is not required during this recovery period.

Prevention of Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica:

The incidence of slipped disc / Herniated Disk and sciatic nerves will be greatly reduced when those following a sedentary lifestyle, unused to back exercise or strain, learn to practice a few yogic asana daily to preserve strength and flexibility of the spinal muscles, discs and ligaments. Avoiding excessive use of chairs and back rests which weaken back muscles and learning to lift a heavy weight from the floor correctly-that is, from the squatting position with the knees bent, so as to protect the vulnerable lower back from excessive strain and injury-will also preserve healthy back.

Acupressure for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica:

It’s a proven traditional method of Chinese medicine for centuries. What I love about Acupressure for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica 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 Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica serves to get to the cause of what’s affecting you daily.

Unlike acupuncture for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica, acupressure for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica doesn’t require needles to be penetrated into the skin. Acupressure for Slipped Disc / Herniated Disc and Sciatica uses massaging techniques to stimulate energy flow between the meridian points of the body.

What is Acupressure? How to do Acupressure? what are meridian/ acupressure points? where are meridian/ acupressure points located in our body? how meridian/ acupressure points are responsible for flow of energy in our body? how we can utilize meridian/ acupressure points to cure any problem in our body?

Click Here to know the answers to all the questions above and also learn the simple self therapy acupressure techniques from the masters to heal yourself naturally and permanently.

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