The question isn’t whether you’ve experienced back pain, but whether you are one of the lucky ones who haven’t. Millions of people around the world suffer from aches and injuries to their backs on a regular basis. The good news is that yoga helps with more than the muscles and ligaments, which may be strained, sprained, or simply unbalanced. Often, the root of the pain is grounded in emotional or mental issues and yoga addresses the physical, emotional, and mental causes.
When you are hurting, ranging from a mild inconvenience to complete incapacitation, it is important to distinguish between acute pain and chronic pain. Acute back pain is intense and lasts from a few days to several weeks. It’s generally due to a fall, lifting a heavy object improperly, a car accident, and resolves within six to eight weeks. During this stage, rest and apply heat and ice to ease inflammation until you are ready to perform gentle exercise. Walking is an excellent option.
Chronic pain lasts longer than three months and is more complicated. Yoga can provide temporary and potentially permanent relief. Our mind and body work together and cannot be separated. Only yoga restores harmony on every level.
Physically, in addition to stretching and strengthening the spine, yoga helps you:
Strengthen the core muscles, which include your abdominals, back, and trunk. The core provides a girdle for the spine.
Elongate and open up the hamstrings, which when tight can directly tug on the lower back, creating or exacerbating pain in the lumbar region.
Stretch and lengthen the psoas or hip flexors at the front of the hip. The psoas is the only muscle to originate in the front of the body and finish in the back. Sitting too much tightens the hip flexors and results in lower back pain.
Emotionally and mentally, yoga helps you:
Address and help alleviate emotional issues, which have built up in the body and created pain. Often, frustration, resentment, and stress create physical tension and contribute to muscular imbalances.
Upper Back: Upper back and neck pain is often tied to lack of emotional support from loved ones or work worries, not just an unsupportive pillow.
Middle Back: Pain in the middle back comes from feeling guilty about ‘stuff’ from the past. Perhaps you are afraid to explore your past or are hiding from difficult memories and tension results.
Lower Back: The lack of money, fear of not having enough, or fear of material loss may trigger lower back pain. The fear of your own survival amplifies the pain.
Yoga helps us tune in to our emotional body and examine the true cause of physical pain. Our dreams and fears are likely what is triggering the crick in your neck or the stabbing in your back. Even if your back pain stems from an accident, the underlying feelings often have been causing strain you didn’t recognize until it manifested. For complete relief, yoga will help you get stronger inside and out to keep your spine healthy for good.
Try these four classes today!
1. Erin Wimert - Low Back Love
2. Desiree Rumbaugh -Strengthen, Protect, & Heal the Lower Back
3. Elise Fabricant - Yoga for Back Pain
4. Michelle Marchildon - Relieve Your Back Pain
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