The Connection Between Yoga, Spinal Stenosis, and Your Back
The Connection Between Yoga, Spinal Stenosis, and Your Back
Let’s start with a fact:
“Herniated disks are the primary cause of sciatic nerve pain in at least 2% of adults.”
When space where the nerve roots and the spinal cord transverse decreases, it causes pressure on the spine. This leads to numbness, experiencing pain, tingling sensations, and weakness.
The sciatic nerve is pinched due to the herniated disc sticking out from its original position. In this situation, the nerve sends chemical signals to the brain that the limbs attached through the nerve are in pain and need to be attended.
The smaller branches of the nerve connect the spinal canal to the feet, legs, ankles, and the pelvis.
There are two types of spinal stenosis:
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
- Cervical Spinal Stenosis
There are various spinal stenosis treatments available in the market due to the increase in the number of patients.
Although there might not be a permanent solution as to healing the condition, the ancient technique of yoga can certainly help to calm down the pain.
- Baddhakonasana (Bound Angle Pose)
For people who suffer from lower back pain, this yoga pose should prove to be helpful. On a yoga mat, you will sit in such a way that both your legs are bent at the knees so you can get a hold of your ankles.
The soles of your feet need to be touching each other. Firmly yet slowly, you will start moving your ankles in an up and down motion as you bend your knees toward the ground.
Remember to inhale during the push and exhale as you return to the original position.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spin Twist Pose)
Although this is a more advanced pose, it can be accomplished slowly, and steadily. In case your condition is severe, you might want to consult a doctor before trying it at home. They might also provide you with a suitable spinal stenosis treatment plan.
Sit in a position so that your back is straight, and your legs are stretched out in front of you. Once you’ve placed your feet close to each other, you want to stretch both your hands to grab one of your feet, say left. Bending the same foot at the knee, you want to place it near your right hip.
Next, you’ll place your left palm on the floor, the right elbow touches the left knee (as the hand touches the thigh). At this stage, your left knee should be pushed inside, toward your chest, and fold the right leg.
The last thing you do is make sure that the twist of the shoulder and neck is in the opposite direction of the current position.
- Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose)
As you lay on your stomach on the yoga mat, with your legs stretched behind you, you will position your elbows so that they align with your shoulders. You will place your forearms in front of you with palms touching the mat. Slowly engage your core as you lift your chest off of the mat.
As you stretch your spine, your thighs and hips will press against the ground for support.
Each time, the pose shall last for about 10 to 20 seconds, depending on your strength and how intense your spinal stenosis treatment was.
With this yoga pose, your shoulders, lower back, and chest will experience a nice stretch in the muscles.
- Tadasana (The Mountain Pose)
Most people would like to start their yoga routine with this pose, but there’s no rule suggesting you must do so.
The Tadasana yoga position is quite simple. All you have to do is stand up straight so that your big toes join and part your heels so that your second toes are parallel with each other.
Lift yourself up with the balls of your feet and slowly return to the original position.
Along with this, when you lift yourself, you slightly stretch your spine backward with your hands touching the sky.
- Adho Mukha Svasana (Downward Dog Pose)
As beneficial as this yoga position may be, it is advisable to consult your doctor as a part of your spinal stenosis treatment plan.
On a yoga mat, you want to create an inverted ‘V’ with your body. The soles of your feet should touch the ground and as you bend down your palms should touch the ground as well. Your butt should be toward the sky, and your hands stretched out beyond the shoulders.
You must stretch your legs and hands while engaging the core. The position could be repeated 3 to 4 times, depending on your stamina.
- Parsva Balasana (Bird Dog Pose)
Start as a baby and get on your fours. With knees aligning with your hips and your palms placed in line with your shoulders, you keep your core engaged. Think of opposites in this position. You want to lift your left hand and stretch it out front while simultaneously stretching out your right leg at the back. Your hips should be leveled as you hold the position for a few seconds.
It works on your core, shoulders, arms, and legs by stretching the muscles.
- Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
This yoga pose improves your posture when continued over a longer period of time if you have an ongoing spinal stenosis treatment plan. To start, you want to balance yourself on both your feet. Then lift one leg up and place the sole on the side of your knee, while maintaining the balance. Along with this you will lift your arms above your head and join your palms. You want to relax after a few seconds and repeat the same procedure on the opposite leg.
This yoga pose will strengthen your arms and legs while engaging your lower back as well.
- Stupa Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-big-toe Pose)
You will lay on your back with legs stretched out. You will lift one leg, bent at the knee and bring it close to your chest. Take the yoga strap and place it on the ball of your foot, pushing the leg toward the ceiling. You back and butt should be close to the floor.
This is going to stretch your hamstring and open up the hips as it reduces lower back pain. You also want to make sure that your head is resting comfortably on the floor as you perform the yoga.
- The Cat/Cow Pose
Along with the spinal stenosis treatment, you could try the cat/cow yoga pose. It’s a simple pose that will stretch out the back muscles and the spine.
Again, starting on all fours, you will start by arching your back as you inhale, lifting up your butt and chest. In the next position, you will do the exact opposite and arch your back the other way, with your stomach reaching the sky. In this position, you will move your head, so it is closer to your chest.
You will want to keep changing these positions a few times.
- Salabhasana (The Locust Pose)
You want to lay on your stomach for this one. Your arms will be stretched out on the sides, and your legs will stay hip-width apart. As you exhale, you will lift your head, legs, upper torso, and arms so that they are off the ground. In this position, all your weight will fall on your stomach, the lowest ribs, and the pelvis.
You will need to maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds to see a positive result in the strength of your lower back. As an extra, the yoga will also boost the blood circulation in your lower hips.
If you are unclear as to what spinal stenosis looks like, don’t worry. Look at these symptoms and compare them to yours before you get a spinal stenosis treatment.
- Unbearable pain as you sleep at night.
- The lower back keeps throbbing with pain.
- Your thighs and legs start to pain if you stand for too long.
- The muscles in your body feel stiff.
- Any sort of movement starts causing pain.
It is not necessary that these symptoms remain constant throughout the day or the week. You might notice them come and go even within the hour.
Carrying huge amounts of weight, on a regular basis in an improper way, may be one of the reasons you might be experiencing pain in your lower back. Another reason is age, which is unavoidable, but with proper care right from the start, you can avoid becoming a victim of spinal stenosis.
There are various spinal stenosis treatments, including chiropractic adjustment and medications. Depending on how your doctor guides you, you could opt from multiple options.
We understand that dealing with such pains can be daunting. It can distract you from your work and personal life. For most, the inability to minor tasks can get on their nerves and test their patience.
At Kennedy Health Pain Relief & Wellness Center, we offer the best spinal stenosis treatment. We bring to our patients the finest non-invasive therapies along with a comfortable healing environment. Our team of expert doctors provides relief from acute and chronic pain. Call today to schedule a consultation!