Chronic back pain is among the common ailments experienced by one in every ten Americans. It can be sudden or last months to years. Sometimes, the pain may disappear, bringing you temporary relief, then comes back, causing frustration. Apart from the pain, you may also experience difficulty standing straight and back stiffness. Chronic back pain may result from cleaning the house, extreme workouts, sports injuries, or diseases like arthritis. If you’re dealing with chronic back pain, here are a few things you should do.
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Chronic back pain makes it difficult to stand or move around, but it’s the first thing you should do. If you maintain a sedentary lifestyle, the muscles around your back and the spine become weak. In turn, weak muscles give less support to your spine resulting in long-term pain. Try keeping up with your average level of activity, but don’t strain too much; walk around the block, go to the park with your furry best friend, and use the stairs often.
Sleeping when you’re experiencing back pain can be uncomfortable and difficult, especially when turning. However, if you don’t get adequate sleep, you risk creating a vicious cycle of back pain because it gets worse. Additionally, a poor sleeping position may aggravate your back pain; try sleeping on your side and place a pillow between your knees to relieve the strain on your spine by keeping it in a neutral position. When lying on your back, place the pillow under your knees. Most importantly, remember to sleep on a firm and comfortable mattress.
Slumping your back causes a lot of harm to your back because it creates a strain. If you’re already experiencing back pain, this will only make it worse. Suppose you sit for long periods, either while working or studying, avoid slumping over the keyboard. Instead, sit upright, relax your shoulders and ensure your back gains support from the chair’s back. Ensure your feet remain flat on the floor and consider supporting your lower back by placing a rolled towel or pillow between it and the seat.
Seek medical help
Suppose you’ve tried every home remedy to relieve chronic back pain, but nothing seems to work; seek medical attention. Back pain that lasts longer than twelve weeks may signify an underlying problem that needs medical treatment, especially if it prevents you from going about your daily activities or makes you feel numb. Your physician may suggest osteopathy, where an osteopath can perform techniques to restore function and relieve pain by stretching and manipulating joints.
Heat or ice therapy
Regular practice of heat or ice therapy on painful back areas may give you relief or reduce inflammation. Wrap an ice pack with your towel and place it on the painful part of your back for about twenty minutes every day. After a few days, begin heat therapy with a warm pack, heating pad, and warm baths.
Chronic back pain can hinder you from going about your daily routines as usual. While this may be frustrating, there are things you can do to bring relief. Practice moves for back care, and if the pain persists, seek help from your physician.
Learn Cherry Picking Warm-Up. This video is a part of our Asana Video Library
training materials for both students and teachers where the forgotten art of
simple movements is explored.
The old me, some twenty years ago felt the deep need to both impress others while simultaneously trying to share parts of myself that were wounded and needed healing for nothing more than to be free of the burdens of carrying them around daily.
Roughly ten years ago I was spun out on a journey to better understand how the body moves as I was not getting the teachings nor explanations I was looking for inside the yoga world. Constantly hearing phrases like “That’s normal”, or “It will get better with time“, and my favorite “do what feels right for you“, seemed like scapegoat responses for a lack of real understanding about how the body moves and why students were feeling the things they were.
Now don’t get upset, I’m not summarizing everyone. But in my personal experience, teacher after teacher, training after training, the why’s, and how’s were continually left out of the what’s and when’s as it pertained to teaching yoga and experiencing poses.
The art of teaching warm-ups and looking at a student and seeing where their challenges were, even if they wouldn’t share them, was something I wanted to refine even more. Why do they walk like that? Why does their shoulder hurt and ever seems to get better? How is it they can do this yoga pose, but not that one? And how do I convince students to value basic moves and sequences as that is what they also need and not just the complex poses and fast-paced moves?
More than ten years I spent studying outside the yoga world to better understand how the body moved and why. Stepping back onto the mat I had a fresh new perspective and a deep understanding of the why’s and how’s I was lacking prior. Tailoring my language and eloquently sequencing my classes to work from the ground up helped students navigate their own bodies and I began to see a shift in my students making better choices all on their own as to what they choose to do when it came to asanas.
How did this happen?
I began to connect their every day living to what they were feeling. I gave them the control to choose with real parameters to gauge their progress pose to pose. Warm-up to final asana. Connecting the dots to how and where the could be doing the very things they are learning in their everyday life.
The Cherry Picking Warm-Up and many others became a means to when they walk up from a long sleep or stretch at their desk. And by doing the very warm-ups like Cherry Picking and dozens of others on the mat, it began to give them confidence and permission to do them off the mat. Because truly, what good is yoga if you don’t carry it with you into your everyday life?
Stepping outside the yoga arena and stepped into a whole new beautiful world of functional movement. It excited me in so many new ways. Mainly because, for the very first time in my entire life, I began to understand the body, it’s parts, and how these parts move.
As a yoga teacher and movement specialist, I find it critical to incorporate basic movements no matter how unfancy they are in your classes. The whole idea of a warm-up is to “warm-up” the body for more detailed movements. And having taught tens of thousands of students over the last nearly twenty years I have noticed a common thread of students lacking the basic abilities to do everyday movements.
Benefits of incorporating warm-ups (like Cherry Picking Warm-Up) into your yoga practice:
- Walk with full range movement in their knees and ankles
- Fully reach overhead without pain
- Bend forward without rounding
- Walk with a full hip extension, not just flexion
- Rotate their torso when turning to the side
- Move their neck side to side without pain
- Walk on various surfaces with bare feet pain-free
- Squat, reach or bend freely
Watch the Cherry Picking Video Now HERE
Benefits to Practicing Cherry Picking Warm-Up:
-Melts the fascia in and around the shoulder
-Stretches the side (lateral) body
-Stretches the lower back
-Stretches the obliques and lateral hip
-Gets you breathing
-Expands the lungs
-Is a basic life movement everyone should be able to do
**BONUS** If you haven’t watched the video yet, it will take you through step by step how to work through the pose as a student and a teacher. Take note of the variety of positive cues and direct references so you and your students can get the most out of this pose.
And if you love this video on the Cherry Picking Warm-Up and want more don’t forget to check out the “How To” video on how to do High Lunge safely and effectively!
Love these teachings? Hop over to HopeZvara.com and head on inside the Mindful Movement & Yoga Online Studio
I’ve said it a million times, how you do things, even yoga asana things matters. So let’s start by honoring the need and art of warm-ups and get you reaching high and feeling great in your everyday life!