Back pain is a common complaint. It may be short term – lifting awkwardly, over exertion in the gym or garden – or longer term – from injury, pathology such as illness, weakness, posture, or ageing.
The interesting thing we know is that peoples experience of pain and actual tissue damage is not always well correlated – put simply some people experience back pain despite a physically healthy back; others experience little or no pain despite back injuries. Even where there is known damage to their back, peoples experience of pain can vary tremendously.
This shows that back pain is complex and requires more than mere corrective exercise; often the root of the problem can be in the wider life.
And back pain can be pernicious – it may stop us enjoying our out of work interests, affect our working life, affect our relationships, or simply get us worried and down – and this creates a vicious circle making our back pain worse.
Yoga Therapy can help with back pain in various ways, in particular:
- Helping you to understand that you are more than your back pain, however bad it gets
- Understanding triggers and causes of your back pain
- Relaxation techniques to deal with flare ups and calm a hypersensitive pain system
- Understanding and correcting unhelpful postural tendencies
- Strengthening the muscles in the back and its supporting area, as well as releasing areas of tightness
- Helping you develop a go to routine for back health
- Developing coping strategies for longer term conditions
How I work with Back Problems
The starting point is an assessment of how you are experiencing these conditions and how they fit into your daily life, including any other treatment you have had, medications, therapies, and any diagnosis. I do this both on a BioPsychoSocial basis – looking at things from a Biological, Psychological and Social perspective – and from a Yoga perspective using Yoga’s understanding of energy and wellbeing.
From there I will probably look at your posture and movement patterns and consider how stress and social issues may be impacting your back problems.
We may work with relaxation techniques and with combinations of movement, strengthening and releasing through yoga postures. You won’t be asked to enter any postures that cause additional pain or discomfort.
I will suggest suitable practices to work with at home for your back and provide a suitable routine.
Obviously, I’ll happily fit in alongside any specific guidelines from other health professionals, eg Consultant, GP, Chiropractor, Osteopath, Physiotherapist. If necessary, I will make suggestions for onward referral to other professionals.
One final thing – Yoga Therapy is not a substitute for emergency healthcare, so if you have acute back pain which has come on suddenly or without obvious cause, please speak to your GP, NHS 111, or A&E.
You can learn more about my practice as a Yoga Therapist, and book appointments, at www.yinspire.co.uk/yoga-therapy/
Jessica – Minded Yoga Therapist