Back Pain

January 24th, 2012

Daytona Beach Yoga Sunset

So, one of my students in my Daytona belly dance classes informed me that she suffers from Cervical Radiculopathy. Cervical Radiculopathy (a pinched nerve) is irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots. It can sometimes be very painful. It limits the range of motion and the ability to perform certain poses and belly dancing sequences.

As a yogi  in Daytona Beach – I feel that yoga is a great tool (for lack of a better word)  to help with the pain and injuries of the back. It can help to relieve back pain, neck pain and improves back and neck conditions. It can help improve the ability to perform everyday physical tasks. Studies have shown that yoga can be more or as effective to easing lower back pain than prescription pain medications!!!! Go Yoga!!!

I’ve been working on a case study to help meet the needs of my student. I like to build case studies for my individual students. My research not only helps my student but, also helps further my understanding of this great, sometimes misunderstood practice.

This is still a work in progress but, I thought I would share it anyway. If you have any questions – feel free to post a comment below. I’ll be sure to get back to you :) .

My Student:

  • Female
  • Md 60′s


  • Discomfort in her shoulders, arms, and hands
  • Depending on the amount of exercise – Too much exercise can be very painful
  • Doesn’t have any constant pain


  • Degenerative Disk Disorder
  • Cervical Radiculopathy


  • Would like to build on flexibility with stretching
  • Weight loss and toning
  • Having fun!!


Degenerative Disk Disorder

D.D.D. is when spinal disks weaken due to the aging process. Vertebrae bones above and below the disks shift out of position and can touch pinching nearby nerves roots. This compression or irritation at the nerve root which will cause discomfort in her shoulders, arms and hands.

She has a herniated disk in her upper back and her lower back is stiff with aches.

Here are some links for about DDD and yoga:

The C5 vertebral bodies in the cervical spine is probably attached to the herniated disk. A herniated disc is a rupture of the vertebral disk which allows the soft nucleus of the disc to bulge out. This bulge can also press against nerve root.

I asked her about weakness, numbness and tingling. My research has shown that an injury at the C5 level can cause pain in the shoulder and upper arm. I need to find out if there is weakness in the arm and hand or just pain next time she is in one of my Ormond yoga classes.

She also told me that about in acute injury she had which damaged the tendon (connection between muscle to bone) & ligament (connection of bone to bone) between her shoulder and elbow.

When she first came to me with this issue I was a bit nervous because I didn’t want to have her stand in any poses to worsen her aliment. We are going to avoid headstands or shoulder-stands which could aggravate the condition. I am going to monitor if pain often gets worse with movements such as bending over, reaching up, or twisting. Remembering that a little discomfort might be good for strengthening muscles but pain is not good.

I am going to work with her on yoga asanas that strengthen and stretch her spine. We will focus on extending the spine through exercise to reduce pain generated from a compromised disc space. Theoretically, the extension exercises may should help reduce the herniation of the disc itself and reduce pressure on a nerve root. McKenzie exericise for the neck should help suside pain.

I also believe a low impact aerobic exercise like belly dance classes in Daytona Beach that increases her heart rate but does not jar the spine will be very beneficial for improving her back problem. Our goal is to increase production of endorphins with exercise to combat pain. These bio-chemicals are the body’s natural painkiller, and frequent release of them can help patients reduce reliance on pain medication.


Ormond Beach Yoga Therapy

The order of exercises should be the following model:

(a) Stability before Mobility (referring to both the spine, pelvis and legs). The client should also be retrained to do activities in daily life with a strong awareness of the breath and neutral spine.

(b) If a client has had a disctectomy, the tissue contracts during healing towards the site of the trauma and at the same time. This loss of movement creates tension and a loss of flexibility at the injured site, as well as the vertebra just above and below it. To address the above, giving poses and utilizing pranayama and visualization techniques with an eye towards creating space between the discs, as well as focusing on the muscles close to the vertebra right above and below the injured area; and secondly, bearing in mind that the spine is a single entity and that what happens at one end of it affects the other end and therefore the entire spine, a strong emphasis on length throughout the entire spine would be key to success with this population.

(c) Yoga poses incorporating both static and dynamic movements

(d) Balance poses are also very important for this population

(e) Increasing the challenge of both static, dynamic and balance poses to challenge the client as needed.


The Effects of Structural Yoga Therapy on
Adriene Ingalls, MA, CPT, RYT
New York, New York

I hope you took some useful knowledge out of this article. If not- please feel free to tell me why in the comments below. I always would love the help.




Cida, April 13, 2012

wah bud! i just totally sweecrd my lower back at work today lifting 100 s of heavy cases of water the wrong way, using my back the whole time instead of proper lifting techniques i cant bend forward now the pain is so bad! it hurts to sit, it hurts to walk, everything! would sleeping on a hard floor really help? any other tips anyone can offer? thanx.

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