Letter of 6/24/2020 Back Pain May Be The Result Of Bending Over At The Waist Instead Of The Hips : Shots - Health News : NPR


Hello Yoga Friends!  What is good back hygiene?  As some of you know, I slipped and fell a few years ago and hurt my back.  I was diagnosed with a “de-ranged" disc between L5 and S1.  That means the disc between my last lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra was out of line.  This is also called a bulging disc.  As the disc sticks out in the wrong spot, it presses on nerves and creates a lot of pain!  I saw my PT and he helped with exercises (mostly back extension like cobra) to help “push” the disc back in place.  

As I was recovering from this, I began to really understand the importance of good back hygiene. I first heard this expression, "good back hygiene” from my friend and teacher Dinneen Viggiano.  She is an expert in helping people recover from back injuries.   Her business is called Retrain Back Pain.  See the link below for an article from her website.  

Good Back hygiene is most important if you have an injury but it is also super important if you have one of those low backs that just isn’t quite right.  If it hurts when you get up or it “goes out” every now and then, it probably needs some special attention. You are probably re-injuring your back.

Back Hygiene Rules

  • Bend at your hips not your low back.  See the NPR article below.  Keep your hamstrings flexible. Stretching the backs of your legs while lying on your back is best, it keeps you from accidentally rounding. Hip hingeing is important for things like brushing your teeth at the sink or picking things up off the floor.
  • Sit on your sitting bones not the back side of your bum. You may need to roll up a yoga mat or even use a pool noodle to sit so you can tilt your pelvis slightly like dog tilt. This is important in a chair and when sitting on the ground.
  • Don’t cross your legs when sitting in a chair. Or sit with one leg tucked under.
  • When you sit in a chair, sit with your feet on the floor. If they don’t reach put something underneath them like a yoga block.
  • When sitting in a chair, try to use your trunk to support your body…don’t lean to one side on an arm rest.
  • Notice what works.  When my back was healing, a deep squat or pose of a child did not work.  My low back would round too much.  As my back got better, a squat worked.
  • Resist the urge to always bring your knees to your chest and round your back.  It will give you a short feeling of comfort and release but it is often (again) too much rounding.
  • Avoid deep twists.
  • Lie on the floor on your belly with a rolled blanket under the top edge of your pelvis. And breathe.
  • Walk more. There are lots of studies now about the importance of movement for back pain.  Gentle walking, multiple times a day can help!
  • Avoid crunches. But plank and plank on side are probably ok.
  • See a trustworthy Physical Therapist. Once you are older than 30, back pain is not going to just go away.  You need to work at it.  But just because you are older, does not mean that you should have back pain. If a doctor or therapist tells you that your pain is related to getting older, you may want to find someone else. 
  • Pay attention and keep notes.  When did the pain start?  When does it flare up? What have you been doing? Or not doing? 
  • Learn some anatomy, so you can understand what your doctor says and you can speak clearly about your issue.
  • Read the book The Back Mechanic by Stuart McGill.
  • Listen to your body.

NPR Don’t Bend Like a Cashew


Learn to Hip Hinge! Don’t bend like a cashew. 

Training video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfuwxtJfDgw


https://retrainbackpain.com/articles/banishing-back-pain-yoga-tune-up-fitness-style   This article includes a link to a video.

Dinneen shares a video for a happier back and neck.https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=315985596063534

Ease Lower Back Pain and More Aches With This Self-Massage Routine | Elemental  Jill Miller videos


Here’s to good health,