Women and Backache
By Dr. Prafulla Dorle - Dr. Prafulla is a Doctor, senior yoga teacher
and yoga therapist from Yoga Vidya Gurukul. He has rich experience in Anatomy &
Physiology of Yoga practices, he is teaching and practicing yoga for the last 10
years along with his medical profession.
Backache : (Gynaecological problem?) In gynaecological practice it is often said that there is no woman without backache. It is a very common condition, right up there with the common cold. Even though it is true that backache is a very common problem in women the cause is not always gynaecological. Most frequently it may be because of some orthopedic problems.
Let's try to understand the causes of backache in women.
- Orthopedic Causes
- Slipped disc : It is a condition where the cartilage disc between the vertebra ruptures and it compresses the spinal nerve. The pain experienced is usually of a shooting type with tingling and numbness of one or both legs. This type of pain usually increases by physical exertion and is reduced by rest.
- Sciatica : When the slipped disc compresses the sciatic nerve and causes pain, it is known as sciatica. Typically the pain starts in the lower back, buttocks, the backside of thighs, back of the knees and then travels to the calf muscles and down to the heels. The pain usually comes after exertion and many times it improves by stretching out the legs.
- Spondylitis : It is a condition where there is inflammation of the vertebra. It is often associated with inflammation of the muscles and ligaments around the vertebral column.
- Gynaecological causes
- Dysmenorrhoea : Painful menstruation is the most common cause of lower backache. The pain is associated with the menstrual blood flow and is often relieved after menses. It is referred pain due to congestion of the pelvic organs. It is relieved as soon as the congestion is relieved.
- Pregnancy and Delivery : During pregnancy the extra weight of the child growing in the mother?s womb causes strain on the back muscles. The weight of the baby increases only on the front side and causes postural abnormality of the vertebral column leading to backache.
- Common causes
- Modern life style, sedentary habits, bad posture in sitting and walking put extra strain on the back muscles.
- An improper method of bending down or stretching to reach various objects is also a common reason for backache.
- High heels, ill fitting shoes and tight clothing restrict the movement of the vertebral column and can lead to backache.
- Constant and excessive mental disturbance, tensions, stress, frustration and discontent of life can be expressed as tension and stiffness in the back muscles
- Suppression of emotions, need of emotional support and conditions like anxiety and depression are also expressed as lower backache. Any imbalance at the mental level is reflected on the physical level and your back is the weakest point in your body. Therefore this imbalance leads to backache.
Yoga Therapy for Backache
- For relaxing the muscles: Yoga Nidra, Tadagasana (Pond pose), Shavasan, Makarasana (Crocodile pose), Matsyakreedasana, Anantasana.
- For correction of postural defects: Padmasana, Vajrasana, Siddhasana, Tree pose, Mountain pose.
- For pain relief: Nauka Sanchalanasana, Chakki chalanasana, Butterfly exercise, Bhujangasana, Shalabasana, Dhanurasana.
- For relieving stiffness: Marjari asana, Ushtrasana, Shashankasana, Paschimottanasana.
The Vajrasan series, especially when holding for longer periods of time, covers
all these four aspects.
Forward bending asanas should not be practiced by people suffering from sciatica and slipped disc.
Dr. Prafulla Dorle