Low-back pain is one of the most common physical ailments with over 80 percent of people in the United States suffering some degree of back pain. According to one my colleagues, Dr. Grey Gardner of Van Chiropractic Clinic, chronic lower-back pain can be debilitating—limiting sufferers from performing daily activities, causing sleep deprivation, negatively affecting intimacy and triggering weight gain.
Although chiropractic treatment is often an effective solutions for eliminating lower back pain, practicing yoga serves as complimentary, natural-pain management. The practice of Physical-therapy Yoga and Pain-management Yoga focuses on many advanced and innovative therapeutic techniques to heal injuries and eradicate back pain (as mentioned by physical therapist Reach Krentzman in his interview with LAYogaMagazine.com). Not only can therapeutic yoga target the source of the physical pain, it is thought to deepen spiritual connection, cleanse the soul and foster vitality. This offers a more comprehensive approach to wellness. The practice of yoga helps to alleviate stress and pain while enriching the mind and enhancing awareness.
Pain ManagementYoga followers can encourage healing of mental, emotional and physical pain by engaging in postures. Senior Pastor Ed Young is dedicated to helping people live optimally and healthily. On his official Ed Young Facebook page, he posts a quote by C.S. Lewis: "pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." Suffering from lower-back pain can be an indirect result of mental and emotional pain. Suppressed emotional pain, stress and the self-internalized pressure of over-achieving can manifest as physical pain in either the torso or lower back.
Healing Yoga PosturesWhether you're resorting to holistic healing methods or experimenting with therapeutic yoga to compliment your therapy, you can practice various yoga exercises at home.
Release tension or help heal nagging pain and stress in the neck, upper back and shoulders with the following sample of therapeutic yoga practices:
- Postural Awareness & Breathing: Target and relieve neck tension by breathing deeply into the abdomen using your diaphragm. In a seated upright position, plant feet on the floor and lower knees below below the hips. Relax while taking 10 deep breaths with exaggerated inhalation (through the nose) and exhalation (through pursed lips). Push the vertex of your skull skyward to maintain proper posture during the exercise. NOTE: if you place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth while inhaling, it will facilitate diaphragmatic/abdominal breathing vs. chest expansion.
- "The Clock:" Standing with your right torso next to a wall, place your right hand at 12 o'clock on the wall and slowly move it clockwise until you are at 3 o'clock. Watch here: The Clock Yoga Exercise Video. Put your left hand on the right rib cage. Inhale deeply and rotate your right torso forward while exhaling. While holding for six deep breaths, you'll stretch your right shoulder down and forward away from your hand.
- Overhead Arms With a Strap: Stretch a fitness strap over your shoulders with your arms apart. Palms should face outward. Place arms on the strap so that you can keep elbows straight. Dropping your chin into your chest will relax the neck. Inhale and hold for six deep breaths. Repeat twice.
- Wall Downward Dog: Put your hands against the wall in a downward dog pose such that your torso is bent forward at 90 degrees with your arms in line with your torso. Legs are underneath hips creating a tabletop. Lift sitting bones into the air while "opening the chest and lengthening the spine." For a demo picture visit "PracticeYoga.net"