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Back Pain? Physical Limitations are No Obstacle for Yoga...

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:35pm

San Francisco Chronic Back Pain Center agrees: Yoga is still one of the best ways to acheive and maintain a healthy spine. As well as maintaining the health of the back, yoga can provide a person with a deeper connection to themselves which not only eases depression and anxiety so common to back pain, but unravels a huge sense of appreciation for what that person actually does have. Although most of our patients have unbearable, radiating back pain, some just know they have disc herniations from previous episodes (confirmed by diagnostics and exam) and are receiving treatment so the condition does not regress. This happens silently for the most part, leading one to believe the problem has resolved itself. Every single one of us has something physical and psychological that we can be thankful for. Yoga helps us to find this, enhancing the overall benefit of any back pain treatment regimen (if done correctly). Yoga doesn't need to be done by supple young women in contortionist back bends or strong young men in 10 minute hand stand balances. There is a kind of yoga for every body and every condition. I can think of no better example than Matthew Sanford, a yoga teacher, speaker, and author, who helps people to maintain presence inside the body.  After reading an article about him and investigating more into his presentation of yoga, I believe that his transformation is an exemplary example of courage and inner strength that we are all capable of acheiving. He mentions that his own body, paralyzed from the chest down, his student's bodies with their range of limitations such as cerebral palsy, MS, and brain injuries, often had a difficult time initiating a yoga practice, but he says that "yoga moves nonetheless, through any body that takes the time to open the door". I want all of our patients who are interested in trying yoga but feel that they can't do it due to physical limitations to think again. You can do it and you will be suprised at the transformations that will occur - if you allow it. If you are a spinal decompression patient at our clinic, you have access to me for any questions you may have as well as Yoga instruction.

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