TREATING SLIPPED DISC WITH YOGA
A lot of people who have been diagnosed with a slipped disc assume that the chances of recovery are slim and they are destined to a life of pain and discomfort.
Let us assure you that this isn’t true. Slipped disc can be healed through our ancient therapies of Ayurveda and Yoga. In this particular article, we will focus on how Yoga can help you heal from a slipped disc.
Yoga emphasises on maintaining correct posture, stretching and breathing. Practising certain Asanas and postures strengthen the core spinal muscles and the ligaments that hold the spine together. It is strongly believed that Constant practice will help reverse the bulge in the spine, thereby helping you lead a life that’s pain free.
It is recommended that the below asanas are practiced under advisement of a physician or a certified Yoga Therapist.
General Rules To Follow Before You Start A Yoga Routine:
Always start with Asanas that are easier for you to perform.
Never strain your back
Stop at the slightest feel of pain. Do not stretch yourself
This is the most commonly used pose for managing a slipped disc is extremely effective. This also strengthens the leg and hip muscles.
- Lie down on your chest with head on the floor
- Place the elbows on the ground. And raise your head and shoulders.
- Rest the head in the palms of the hands.
- The legs should be kept straight and relaxed.
- Keep the eyes closed.
- Remain in this position for 2 – 5 minutes
- Slowly remove the palms from under the chin and roll over and lie down on your back.
- If you feel any tension in the back muscles, you may want to do a slight forward bend, without strain. Please remember that too much of forward bending should be avoided by patients with slipped disk
This is a pose used for relaxation. This pose can help you rest your body, steady your breathing and calm your mind. This is very relaxing pose for patients suffering from Slipped Disc.
- Lie flat on the stomach with legs straight. Rest your forehead on the floor. If required you can use a rolled up towel or blanket to rest your forehead.
- Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind the ears on the region between the lower part of the head and upper part of the neck.
- Let the elbows gently touch the floor.
- Breathe in a normal and rhythmic way and relax all the parts of the body, esp. the muscles of the back and shoulders.
- Relax and maintain this position for 2 – 5 minutes or as long as it is comfortable
This is also another pose used for relaxation and is very effective for patients suffering from slipped disk and stiff neck.
- Lie flat on the stomach with legs straight.
- Stretch both your hands forward and place it along the ground, touching both sides of the head.
- Relax all muscles and breathe in a natural and rhythmic manner.
- Remain in this position for 2-5 minutes or as long as you feel comfortable.
Once you are extremely comfortable with the above 3 asanas, and only then are you recommended to move on to practice slightly progressive asanas that require a higher degree of strength in the back and the neck.
This asana strengthens the back muscles especially the lower back and increases flexibility of the spine and the surrounding muscles.
- Lie down on your stomach with hands on the side, toes touching together.
- Bring your hands to the front at the shoulder level, with palms resting on the floor.
- Slowly raise your trunk and head with the support of the palms alone. The arms should be bent at the elbows.
- Arch your neck slightly backwards, so that the pose looks like a cobra with raised hood.
- Breathe normally and feel the stomach press against the floor.
- Hold the asanas for few seconds in the beginning stages. One may go up to 2 minutes as one progresses.
- You can release the pose by bringing the hands back to the sides and resting your head on the forehead. Then, place the hands under your head like a pillow. Bend and rest your head on one side and breathe normally.
This asana strengthens the lower back muscles and provides flexibility.
- Lie on your stomach with the chin stretched and touching the ground. Keep the hands on the side.
- Slowly bring your hands under the legs to support them.
- Inhale slowly and deeply and lift your right leg upwards, without bending the knees, as much as you can and without straining. Maintain this position for few seconds, maximum up to half a minute.
- Slowly release the position by bringing down the right leg back to the original position. Exhale during this process.
- Rest for few seconds and breathe normally and deeply.
- Now, try the above steps with your left leg lifted above the ground.
- This process can be done a few times alternating between the right leg and the left leg.
This Asana loosens up the spine and make it flexible. It gets rid of stiffness in the back muscles.
- Kneel on the floor and lean forward putting both your palms on the floor pointing forward.
- The legs can be slightly apart and palms should be at shoulder length.
- Take the position similar to a standing cat. Let your trunk be parallel to the ground, the thighs should be vertical and straight. The lower leg and feet should be on the floor.
- This is the base position. Relax your body completely. Make sure your shoulder and back muscles are relaxed.
- Now exhale completely and feel your belly go inwards. At the same time move your head inwards between your shoulders. While doing this your back will bend and arch upwards.
- Now inhale and arch your back in the opposite direction. The spine will bend slightly downwards. The head, neck and shoulders should be arched backwards, as if you are looking up.
- Repeat this process, as many times as you are comfortable. Do this asana with slow and deep breathing and feel the stretch it gives to your back, neck and shoulders. Feel the stiffness disappear and the sense of greater flexibility in your back muscles and spine.
In addition to the asanas, it is also recommended that one practices pranayama regularly to increase the pranic level and bring flexibility to the whole body. Proper flow of prana within the body helps the body heal as a whole.