Yoga can be a very helpful tool for mitigating pain within the body. However, when working with the complexities of each individual person some poses that are beneficial for one condition could in turn be harmful towards another. Private lessons can be the perfect solution to finding out what works best for your condition and can help you on your journey towards wellness.
Kristen, who has worked extensively with her own back complications over the years, has put her energy towards developing pain management techniques that can be interwoven throughout a balanced yoga practice.
If you've been dealing with chronic pain throughout the body and are looking for an opportunity to take your health into your own hands please contact us today!
SI Joint Dysfunction
Low Back Pain
General Strength & Flexibility Limitations
BACK CARE PROGRAM
-1 Evaluation w/ Postural Analysis (30min)
-2 One Hour Private Lessons
-Personalized Take-Home Routine
(w/ images & written instruction)
About the spine
Did you know that 8 out of 10 Americans will have back problems at some point in their lifetime? And of those people 54% of them have jobs working at a desk. Sometimes back pain can stem from weak postural muscles and a lack of awareness to body alignment yet sometimes pain can come from structural complications that we’re born with. Bottom line is that back pain affects quality of life, and sometimes all it takes is some therapeutic movements to get the body back on track.
A little bit about the back:
The spine can be broken down into four sections: the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, the lumbar spine and the sacrum. There are 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar and 5 sacral.
Comprised of 7 vertebrae in total, the first two are shaped to allow for a lot of movement. In fact, 50% of the heads range of motion comes from C1. The cervical vertebrae allow us to look in all four directions with very little restriction.
Complications: This is where we may find postural issues like Forward Head or "Text Neck"
Comprised of 12 vertebrae, these bones are shaped for rotation, allowing us to twist our upper bodies from side to side. However, since the ribs attach to these thoracic vertebrae they have very little movement in regards to forward bending and back bending. The ribcage is the protective barrier for some of our most vital organs like the heart and lungs.
Complications: This is where we may find Kyphosis, Scoliosis and general postural weaknesses.
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There are 5 lumbar vertebrae and they’re bigger and chunkier in shape because they have to be sturdy enough to support the entire upper body. The rigidity of these vertebrae leave very little room for movement when it comes to rotation of the spine but allows us to bend forward and backward in relation to our midline.
Complications: This is where we may find Lordosis, Herniated-Ruptured-Slipped-Pinched Discs, Sciatica, and general Low back pain (medically referred to as Lumbago) and Scoliosis.
The 5 vertebrae of the sacrum are fused together and are wedged into the pelvic girdle. This fusing allows for a stable base to the spine which is designed to shift force from the upper body into the lower body and vice versa. The sacrum sits between the two Ilium (hip bones) and the joining space on either side is known as the Sacroiliac Joint, or SI Joint.
Complications: This is where we may find SI-Joint Dysfunction, Sciatica
These bones, known all together as the spinal column, are all positioned in a precise order to help protect the spinal cord that runs down the center. Our nerves branch out from this column at each vertebrae going down the length of the spine and they stem out through all of our extremities. That’s why an impinged nerve somewhere in the lumbar spine can send shooting pain all the way down the legs.
yoga for relief
Kristen remembers going to the doctors for low back pain associated with her Scoliosis when she was just a senior in highschool. At the time her Orthopedic Specialist prescribed her with over the counter NSAIDS (Motrin) and simply told her to rest. At 18 years of age her only solution was pain medication and rest.
It wasn't until she met a back care specialist at Tufts New England Medical Center that Kristen was finally prescribed Yoga.
Through body awareness she discovered weak postural muscles related to her Scoliosis and began to create equilibrium within the structure of her body. Everything is interconnected; with muscles acting like pulley systems to keep the body stable and upright. When one muscle stops doing its job properly other muscles around it step in to help. This is okay when it's temporary (like in the event of an injury) but when these surrounding muscles are expected to do extra work for an extended period of time they begin to fatigue, and this is where we get introduced to chronic pain.
Yoga, when practiced mindfully, can help a student discover and correct any inbalances to help create harmony throughout the body.
Kristen getting an assist from Elise B. Miller at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health