Anna asked the Guru about her back pain… but it’s only down one side!

August 5, 2014

Hi Guru

Thank you so much for your help!

I am suffering from a back pain. (only right side/ just below the waist line)

Actually before the back pain, I’ve hurt my left side Hamstring & Seat bone last winter when I tried the yoga posture .

So stopped exercise  2-3 months and then slowly I started yoga again last Mar without stretching left side of leg.  But instead tried the only Right side leg to keep the flexibility

However, after a few months of this, I gradually feel pain on my back/right side/ just below the waist line.

And the pain is quite severe for a few months now.

I guess my pelvic bone is tilled due to the one side stretching only.

When I go out to London just 1-2 hours walking gives me back pain again.

Do you think I should stop the yoga again? ( I do yoga/pilates every morning/Mon-Fri/1hour each) Is there any treatment or some exercise to treat the pain?

If you could let me know how to treat the pain, I would be grateful for your help.

Thank you very much for your help in advance.

I look forward to hearing your answer.

Best wishes


August 5, 2014

Hi Anna

Poor you – you’re trying to do all the right things. I think your analogy about stretching one side more than the other is partially true.

But, because of the left sided hamstring etc pain, I think we need to tried to find out why you’re not getting better.

Feeling better does not always mean getting better.

What’s really common when you have pain zipping around from side to side, is that something else is causing it. Change that, and we’re in business.

Stiff thoracic spine’s cause your lower back to compensate and move more, due to the lack of relative flexibility in your thoracic spine. If you can’t control this extra movement in your lumbar spine, it will cause problems. I think this sounds a lot like you!

So I’d stop all stretching – especially of anything that goes near your back (hamstrings, quads, adductors, gluts, your back!) and I’d work on trying to get move movement in your stiff thoracic spine.

Sitting posture at work can be a major influence on low back pain.  So does the way your walk. Lift your chest up, don’t pull your shoulder blades back.

Try this stretch in the morning and night. Roll up a towel, as if your off to the beach and put it on the floor. Put a pillow at the top – the pillow should be higher than the towel (so maybe a big pillow or 2 of them) and should look like a “T” shape. Now lie on the towel. Head on the pillow, shoulders off the pillow and the towel runs from the nape of your neck down to just below your bra strap. Bend your knees up so your feet are flat on the floor – and hang out for 10 minutes. It must be pain free – or your doing it wrong!

This gives you a chance to move your thoracic spine – so make sure you keep it moving with good posture etc.

I think I’d go with Pilates only and knock the yoga on the head for the time being. You need to concentrate on keeping the top bit of your back mobile and learn to stabilise and control your lower back.

Try this every day for the next 10 days – no stretching (apart from the above), no matter how good it feels!!

Don’t treat the pain, cure what’s causing it – it’s what we’re great at!

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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