This past weekend, I drove to a farm near Athens, Georgia, to assist a gentleman there who had herniated disks in his spine.
It was so rewarding for me to see him.
The previous weekend, he had been unable to stand up straight and was walking around at a 45 degree angle.
He was still in tremendous agony despite receiving several injections from his doctor and was taking pain pills four times a day.
He was walking around with a cane and had trouble sleeping because of all the discomfort.
After our session, he reported feeling 20 percent better – highly significant as neither the pain pills or injections had provided much relief.
What do you do when you know you have injured your back?
I recommend starting with these five poses. They are the safest, most conservative ways to begin when your back is injured.
Go gently and easily.
The way I like to describe it to my clients is this: “Go so slowly and gently that you sneak past all the pain.”
Click on the links below to be led to the videos or photographs. I’ll be describing how to practice each one in blogs to follow.
- Don Tigny mobilization
- Wide leg forward fold
- Cat cow
- Hamstring stretch
- Supported fish over yoga eggs
A herniation is a major injury to your spine.
A spinal disk is like a jelly donut, with a soft center encased in a hard exterior. A herniation is a problem with the soft cushion between your vertebrae.
The most usual place you herniate your disks is in the five vertebrae in your lower back. Your lower back is the width of your hand. It’s so crucial because it supports two thirds of your body weight.
Disk herniation is one of the most common causes of low back pain and sciatica – the shooting pain that runs down your leg.
The fastest way to herniate your disk is to bend over and twist – NEVER do that!
If you have to pick something up off the floor, use your legs, NOT your back.
If you are unsure how to lift safely, set up an appointment with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 678-612-8816 or sending me a message via Skype at catherinecarrigan.
In the case of the farmhand I helped, he had picked up a lawn mower and then rode on a horse directly afterwards.
To give you an idea how effective these exercises are, he has scoliosis, a reverse curve in his lower back, tight hamstrings, tight hips and kyphosis. If you don’t know what anything of that means, consider this. That means just about everything that could go wrong had gone wrong, and he is only 56 years old.
I recommended he practice the exercises I had given him every day, since you can develop strength in as little as four days of repeated exercise.
Despite working at a physically intensive job, he had not developed the stability in his back to withstand the demands of his job – a common problem.
If you have injured yourself, you have to proceed very carefully.
These five exercises are safe enough they can be practiced by anybody and can provide some relief until you visit your doctor for an MRI and/or your chiropractor for an adjustment.
It’s important to note that if you do injure your back, that’s proof positive that you have problems with your back muscles.
You will need to strengthen your weak spinal muscles, stretch the tight ones and restore balance to your core so that the problem does not recur.
If you simply ignore your muscles, you are set up for reinjuring yourself, especially within the six months after your initial injury.
Please read the blogs that follow to learn how you can make yourself feel much better.
I’ll be guiding you through how to do these safely and easily so that you start feeling better today.
What is healing? Healing happens when you learn how your body operates and take the time to strengthen your muscles.