There are a number of ways for someone dealing with recurring back pain to treat themselves. A daily regimen of focused stretching is probably the most common self-care treatment. Performing daily back stretches is a convenient way to ease muscular tension, which often forms in the lower back, shoulders, and neck region. Another popular self-care treatment is yoga, a full-body stretching exercise that promotes muscle relaxation and gives the spine some added support.
Yoga is an excellent practice to for keeping a healthy back. In a lot of cases where the back pain is not severe or recurring, a regular yoga practice is all you need for dealing with slight and limited symptoms.
But sometimes a diligent self-care routine is not enough. If you’re dealing with recurring back pain that persists (and may even worsen) despite maintaining a regular yoga practice, then you need to seek the opinion of a professional. Here are three signs that you need more than yoga to cure your back pain.
Your Lower Back is Still Inflamed
One of the areas that yoga usually does a world of good for is the lower back. A full hour of poses directed towards the hips and the core will often help put your body back into alignment. However, if you come home from a class with the same stinging sensation in the lower back, then you have a more serious problem on your hands than just some muscle tension. Often, recurring muscle tension in the lower back is a symptom of a nerve or ligament issue somewhere else in the body.
The Pain is Too Great to Perform Yoga Regularly
It is not recommended to continue with yoga if you experience back pain throughout the entire exercise. If this describes your situation, you are dealing with an issue (like a back strain) that is far too complex for yoga to solve, and in fact, you might be making it worse by doing a class. Other forms of stretching are recommended here, but so is seeking professional insight.
A Shooting Pain in the Foot
A sharp, hot, shooting pain pulsing through your leg is a symptom of sciatica. Sciatica is a relatively common type of back pain that has its origin in damage to the sciatic nerve, an important nerve in human anatomy that connects the lower back to each lower leg. Shooting hot pain is not a muscular issue, and as such, cannot be cured by yoga.
Keep these symptoms in mind the next time you feel back pain and think, “I can solve this by doing lots of yoga!” Unfortunately, when the symptoms are rooted in a nerve, ligament, or spine misalignment, yoga will not be of much use. Seeing your chiropractor is the most effective treatment plan.