The Root Cause of Back Pain

I happened to come across an article entitled 9 More Yoga Stretches to Help Relieve Hip & Back Pain. The largely sedentary lifestyle that many of us have adopted, no matter how fit we think we are, will inevitably lead to some sort of pain and discomfort in the body. According to the American Chiropractic Association, most cases of back pain are caused by how we move or don’t move throughout our day, not by serious conditions like arthritis, infection, fractures, or even cancer. What this means is that we can not only alleviate back pain but also prevent it, based on how and how much we move throughout our day.

There were some nice yoga stretches presented in that article. I even teach some of them in my Easy Series Yoga DVD because I know they work. Along with that, as I witness the bodies of my friends and family, as well as my own, aging, I have realized that hip and back pain prevention lies largely in the lifestyle choices we make. Whether I choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator; if I choose to drive a mile up the road rather than walk; whether or not I chose to begin each day with some yoga or walking rather than a quick cup of coffee; if I choose to watch a few hours of TV at the end of a long work day, rather than take a relaxing, contemplative walk.

Half of all Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. How can this be prevented? We can’t simply treat exercise like a prescription drug that we take for some time and then stop once the pain goes away. Eventually, it always comes back to the question: what can I do to relieve and prevent back pain?

One suggestion is that we adopt a regular well-rounded yoga routine that will not only relieve hip and back pain but prevent it from occurring in the first place. If a 30-minute practice doesn’t suit your busy schedule, then practice 15 minutes twice a day or even 15 minutes once a day. Or how about adding a brisk walk at the beginning or end of each day.

And don’t overlook the mental and emotional stress that can lead to back pain. A good friend of mine who is quite active in her daily life admits that when she is under stress, she eats more and moves less. As soon as she takes the time to slow down, take a walk, and become more contemplative, adopting some of the meditation techniques mentioned in my blog, 3 Tips for Integrating Meditation into Your Busy Routine, her back pain goes away. A new approach to your back pain may truly be life-changing.

Wishing you well,
Wai Lana

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