Back Issues

Basic Tips

If in pain, don’t jog, jump, do sudden moves, or wear high heels. Duh! Helpful sports are *Pilates, * T’ai Chi, Yoga, swimming, cycling, rowing, and of course-walking. Keep moving.

Don’t carry heavy purses, or bags over the shoulder. Another Duh.

Bones need weight bearing exercise, and lots of it, especially with age.

Get your back under the professional healing hands of a body worker. Find a good Rolfer, masseuse, Osteopath, a knowledgeable physical trainer, an educated Yoga Instructor.  Listen to what your body needs.  In the Practice of listening we learn to hear the body’s voice.

Don’t bend forward without bending your knees, especially when lifting anything. Use thigh muscles, not back.

To fortify bone and joints take: calcium & magnesium Vit. D,A, B’s & E, plus zinc.  Doctors are now recommending that those who do not get enough sun, which is most, take 2000-4000 units of Vit.  D a day to protect bones and joints.

Avoid meats as the uric acid in animal protein exacerbates pain.
Herbs that help backache: slippery elm, white willow bark, burdock, horsetail.

Lower back pain can be about kidney, not ligament or bone. It might also be about the large intestine.  If the pain is above the waist, pay attention to elimination, or constipation. If elimination is difficult, take an enema.

Cod liver oil helps with healing. Read Edgar Casey.  He used Cod liver packs on the skin for all manner of ailments, to great success.

If sitting for long periods of time, make your knees higher than your hips.

Pay attention to your habits, especially if back pain is habitual. Make a diary of when it comes and goes, what are you feeling, thinking, eating, doing? Often buried rage that is given a moment to emerge creates back spasm or pain.  But the thought is gone before we can connect the two.  Take charge of the healing process, follow it within.

The back supports us. Meta-physically you could ask, ‘where am I not supporting myself?’ Often the lower back refers to repressed money-support issues, the mid-back can spasm over the anxiety of stress, and buried emotional issues, and the upper back and shoulders are carrying too heavy a burden.  ‘Am I carrying something that does not belong to me?’  Might be an appropriate question.

“Healing Back Pain, The Mind-Body Connection” by John Sarnos, MD
“Energy Medecine” by Donna Eden

Basic Ayurvedic Tips for the Back

Often those with excess Vata are at greater risk so reduce vata-increasing foods such as raw vegetables, salad, and beans. Practice a Vata-pacifying diet, and balancing habits such as sitting in meditation to counteract Vata’s constant motion, and avoid windy, cold weather.

Massage tender area with mahanarayan oil.  Follow this with a hot bath, putting 1/3 cup each of ginger powder, and baking soda.

If you know you carry an excess of  Vata energy and the backache is caused by spasms and the anxiety making the spasms worse, therefore you are also dealing with constipation, take an enema of dashamoola tea in a pint of water, with ½ cup of sesame oil Retain for 5-10 minutes if possible.

Selected Yoga Poses that tone, strengthen and stretch the back.

If you have a serious back issues-get expert Yoga instruction, especially if you have a slipped disc. But for backache and strain the following are helpful, especially when done slowly, with attention to alignment:

Bitilasana/Cow Pose, followed by Cat Pose
Sphinx Pose
Ustrasana/Camel Pose
Dhanurasana/Bow Pose
Ardha Matsyendrasana/ Half Lord of the Fish Pose
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana/Bridge Pose
Parivritta Janu Sirsasana/Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Salabhasana/Locust Pose
Matsyasana/Fish Pose
Bharadvajasana/Sweet Side Twist Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana/Down Dog