- Exercise & Fitness
Yoga for lower back ,sacrum and hip pain
Yoga for hip pain and back pain
A consistent Yoga practice can many times be a viable option to surgery for chronic pain associated with the back, hip and sacrum. Whether you suffer from chronic pain that lasts over a period of time, or acute pain that is short lived, pain that is dull, sharp, aching, stiff, shooting, tingling, burning, etc., yoga may be the answer you've been looking for.
Benefits of Yoga
The benefits of a good yoga practice are three-fold; Yoga not only enhances your mental focus and awareness, it also enables you to breath more fully and deeply, both by physically expanding the rib cage and lungs, and through the mental aspect of relaxation in mind and body. Yoga connects the breath and the movement, simulataneously stretching, strengthening and balancing you physically and mentally.
Where pain originates is not always clear
How does mental focus and awareness affect back pain? First of all, if you have had back pain for awhile, if it has been recurrent or chronic and/or you aren't sure of it's origin- your pain can be referred pain, affecting different areas of your body. So a knee that is giving you problems could be indicitive of a hip issue. Intestinal or bowel issues could be related to a lumbar disc problem. Chest pain could actually have begun from an imbalance in the sacrum area which destabilized the spine. Or you may just feel really - there isn't a better term for it - crappy . No energy, stiffness, fatique, agitation, achiness, feeling short tempered, anxious.
The central nervous system and chronic pain
All of the above mentioned physical and mental states can be the product of back, hip and sacrum pain, or any chronic pain for that matter. And notice mental and emotional issues are part of the equation as well as the physical. That is because any time there is a disturbance in our spinal region - the roadmap and master connector of our bodies systems- our central nervous system is affected. And our central nervous system affects basically our whole being; physical, mental and emotional. When our central nervous system gets "revved up" from chronic pain, it throws everything off by sending the wrong messages to our brains. We produce more cortisol, more adrenalin, fewer endorphins, and have less tolerance to pain and stimulus. This is why chronic back, hip and sacrum pain are so difficult to explain and treat. They affect everything; it's not just "pain" in the localized sense that we are talking about. Everything is thrown off kilter.
The mind/body connection
The practice of yoga begins to open you up to an awareness of your body, breathing, and state of mind. And the interconnectedness of all three. It surprises us who are used to Western medicine that these systems affect one another, but the further you explore this in the process of healing your back, the more you will see that every system in our body is interconnected. Being aware of your body allows you to be more sensitive to what part of your body is affected. Where tightness or stiffness is located, where pain or numbness occurs. And when you can do this, you are better able to be an active participant in healing your back and retraining your muscles.
The importance of breathing properly Breathing, or learning to breath fully and correctly, is something that very few of us do on a regular basis. When we are anxious, tense, angry, sad or depressed we don't breathe fully, we take short, shallow breaths and hardly expand our rib cage at all. Pay attention the next time, and notice your breathing . And the shallow, short breathing in turn makes us that much worse. When, if we slow down and concentrate on the breath coming in and out of our bodies, if we are aware of the oxygen reaching our blood and brain and expanding our spine and rib cage, we will begin to feel it's healing. After about a month of doing my yoga for lower back, I was in the store and began to have a bad muscle spasm, which usually meant going home and taking a muscle relaxer. I did my breathing, in and out of my nose, fully, slowly, and the spasm and nerves began to dissipate. I couldn't believe I had had this simple tool of breathing at my disposal and never known it's power. Yoga breathing exercises can help with focus, awareness, relaxation, pain, high blood pressure, and depression, among other things. It is crucial to every part of our body, and when done with awareness, can do miraculous things for us.
Creating new movement and muscle patterns and ending unhealthy patterns through yoga Finally, the physical part of yoga is unlike any other excercise you can do for your back. Yoga is at once stretching and strengthening, rebalancing muscle strength, creating symmetry structurally, and establishing healthy muscle patterns in place of degenerative, unhealthy patterns originating from the body trying to help itself back into alignment.
Be your body's partner And that is my last point about the practice of yoga. The body is made to heal itself, to realign, stabilize, balance, and mend. Instead of treating the symptoms of back, hip and sacrum pain with pills or surgery, yoga gives us a chance to utilize our natural ability to heal by becoming more in touch with, and being a partner in, the journey back to good health.
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