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yoga injury

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Happiness comes first, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Hey all.

    I got a question regarding overstretching. I have known about TMS quite some time, and my general health has improved alot from applying a TMS-techniques. My pain levels have gone down somewhat.

    Around a year ago I took up (ashtanga) yoga as a part of my "increased movement"-plan. However, after an intense period of sun salutations and smiling namastés (I wonder how many westerns actually know the meaning of the latter word) I developed pain in my butt. As I before that had been diagnosed with TMS I thought "aha, I got you" - ignoring the burning sensations in my butt/hamstring. However, slowly I "realized" I probably was hurting by body. I went to a PT, exercised my butt for around 5-6 months and managed to get pain free (in this area, many more still ache(d/s)). My hamstring was still a little stiff though.

    The PT I saw basically said the below. It is a rather pessemistic read. But it rings rather true considering my symptoms.


    I wanna do yin yoga. which is a meditative form of yoga. I tried two sessions and the burning/stiff sensation is back fullblown. I am scared that the blog is right and I should be super careful.

    I am not certain how to approach it. I want to become more flexible to be able to go kayaking for example (which is rather impossible with my current hamstring situation... :p), and yin yoga is a perfect way to combine flexibility with mindfulness.

    Does the information in the link seem valid in any way? It has references :).

    Hope you'll are doing good!

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    What a tricky one.. Have you seen a Dr and have they ruled out any serious injuries? I'd probably start there.

    Once you've ruled out there's nothing structurally wrong and the felt sensation is due to a mind-body connection, I'd recommend reading Dr Sarno's book and re-enforcing your knowledge on a deeper level. When you are feeling the pain, try and focuss on the sensations and think psychologically, knowing the ailment is just temporary and will pass in time.

    Please remember to be kind and gentle to yourself, I know it's a long and hard journey but with time, persistence, knowledge and determination comes change
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm neither a physical therapist nor a qualified yoga instructor, but I've done a little yoga in my day, and it seems to me that there is a serious competitive component which causes people to over-do it.

    I'm a "moderation in everything" kind of person and I feel like Dr. Sarno is the same way. Exercise, but do it for enjoyment and general overall health. Don't over-do anything, and of course don't focus on the part of your body that has pain.

    Look at how your glute symptom came back immediately upon trying yoga again, even a supposedly meditative version (but designed to open connective tissues and joints - it's probably not that gentle). This probably has more to do with brain memory and TMS than with any actual damage to your body - and remember when I say this, that I haven't examined your body and I would never do so since I'm a CPA, not an MD or PT ;)

    That being said, IF it was me, I'd probably lay off all but a little bit of gentle yoga, go do some easy kayaking anyway, and concentrate on renewing my TMS awareness by re-reading my favorite Dr Sarno book and doing some journaling. If you're concerned, of course, you should be examined by a medical professional, as we always say.

    I'm sorry that I can't speak to the validity of your PT's article. It's way too technical! :confused:
  4. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    U can get hurt doing Yoga & its very common. Yoga is meant to be a progressive, life long practice which involves a lot of breathing, meditation & poses that evolve over a life time. The kind of yoga which is being taught nowadays is dangerous & can causes real injuries. Most instructors are not well trained & in big classes there is no real attention given to each individual.

    Take sun salutation as an example. If u know yr sun salutation then u will knw that it consists of a number of poses like mountain, forward bending, lunges. downward dog etc. We do not go into sun salutation immediately without first learning how to do each pose correctly under guidance. Forward bending can cause a lot of strain depending on the condition of your muscles & the pelvis & if u r not doing it properly & doing it intensively then yes u will hurt yrself again & again.

    Tke it slowly, focus on yr breath, on correct positioning & use props. Build up slowly & u WILL see the benefits but it will take time.

    Yes I do know what namaste is but I have never in my life heard of a pose called Smiling Yoga unless its just smiling with yr hands folded.

    plum likes this.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    The two physical triggers for my now chronic hip pain were from yoga. There were also TMS emotional events running concurrently--which came first the chicken or the egg? Ashtanga is the most athletic of yoga forms, it's well suited to competitive Westerners especially Californian's, who would be abhorred to see yoga competitions on Goa beach with competitors wearing numbers. You can get hurt dong yoga and I'm a prime example. Try finding a real yoga class that has a guru who does yoga therapy. While the rest of the class is doing the asanas, you will be taken aside doing special poses for rehab.

    g'luck & namaste'
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
    plum likes this.
  6. Thank you all for thoughtful answers. And yeah, the competetive form of yoga is just ridiculous - but ego is unfortunately a rather strong force.. :)

    I sent the same question to a well known TMS-doc. I just recently got the answer from this kind man. I thought I might share it with you if anyone else struggles with this symptom. See below;

    "No, I do not think that an overstretch that occurred two years ago would have any effect on you now, from a physical point of view. Your PT is most likely unaware of TMS and can only see pain as some kind of tissue damage situation.You don't need PT, unless it's just to help you get stronger and more flexible. I don't think you are injured, so you should be able to do what you want physically."
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    I am noticing that even (or especially) so-called Mind-body practitioners go back to the injury model, and recommend rest and rehab. Remember Sarno: he wrote that people get upset and their symptoms get worse when they are given complex diagnoses and MRI scans. The experience of PAIN does not correlate with the INJURY. Sarno is so ahead of his time that he freaks people out. Fear and tension create pain. And again, it's the BRAIN.
    So simple and beautiful, difficult and therefore true.
    Lily Rose, plum and JanAtheCPA like this.
  8. jogiogi

    jogiogi Newcomer

    As a yoga practitioner with many years of experience, and last few as yoga teacher, I am extremely sorry to hear (read) about this situation.

    No doubt that yoga changed a lot since it arrived in our western world and we adopted it to our daily lifestyle. Yoga is a philosophy and physical practice is just smaller part of it, smaller part that should have only one point - to bring you peace and meditation. Therefore, well-being.

    Anyhow nowadays while we are practicing yoga injuries are happening more and more.
    Yoga instructors and teachers have overcrowded groups that cannot follow properly, and practitioners have competitive mindset. Thus, our western approach have to be changed.

    Recently I read great posts "Common yoga injuries and how to prevent them - vol 1." and also second part - vol 2.
    ( http://www.omnomyoga.com/common-yoga-injuries-and-how-to-prevent-them/ and vol 2. - http://www.omnomyoga.com/common-yoga-injuries-and-how-to-prevent-them-vol-2/ )
    Down to the Earth and easily explained who to approach your own practice with great and the most important - SIMPLE explanation for modification of asanas.

    Yoga is here to heal us, help us ground and live more vivid life. No matter which yoga style you choose it should bring you benefits. And last but not the least - please believe your own instincts and feelings, if you feel something is not good for you - stop immediately.

    Breathing, being present and being aware of ourselves (body, mind, emotions) is a goal of yoga. Therefore, no rush for doing some perfect positions, that was never nor will ever be... the point of any traditional yoga style.
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, agree with you fully, the other seven limbs of yoga have been thrown out the window leaving only the sweaty bits. Western culture is competitive and "All about the money". Yoga in it's original form, was one guru, one student. A devotee would give up his earthly belongings to practice with his guru. The modern era, due to economic and time clock realities, requires about a dozen students to one teacher.For all the "teaching" that goes on, you might as well plug in a video. And, it just seems to happen, that most of the practitioners in the ashtanga classes are skinny, long legged athletic type ladies who are, or could be, models--never seen one of them say, "I think I'll take the level 1 class today." After class, deep meditation at Whole Foods.
    Lily Rose, plum and mike2014 like this.
  10. bagofwater

    bagofwater Peer Supporter

    Not exactly yoga related, but: recently I've had several sharp very painful "attacks" while doing, mostly, gentle stretching exercises. A couple of these attacks actually occurred in anticipation of stretching my back! It's gotten quite bad and happened several times when I was simply tying my shoe! As a TMS veteran I can only assume these are triggers of some sort. I remember being injured trying to do yoga a couple times before I knew about TMS too. These are sharp cattle-prod jolts that come out of the blue. They hit at 11 on the pain scale and subside to 5s immediately, and then can take a week or so go away entirely.

    I seem to be in some kind of fear-cycle that I'm having trouble getting out of. Over the last few months the attacks have been nearly continuous, with another one hitting as the previous subsides. Each one has occurred as I round my back to stretch forward, as such I find myself always keeping my back as flat as possible. I've stopped doing any stretching that involves rounding my back (such as when you touch your toes) and I find myself actually afraid to tie my shoe!

    Any ideas on how to break this cycle? I'd really like to be able to stretch and do yoga to feel agile and for general health, but at this point it seems very scary.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi BOW, welcome back - but sadly, this sounds pretty frustrating.

    To treat this as TMS, I would use mindful visualization. Before you do the movement that scares you, you need to hear how your brain goes negative, talk back to the fear and contradict it, relax, and then visualize your back muscles accepting the movement and staying perfectly flexible and aligned and without pain.

    In addition, I believe that there are times when you can go ahead and use some physical exercise to help you recover your natural flexibility. If you approach it with the right mindset (which means knowing that your mindset is part of what you need to work on!) then it's just another tool in your recovery.

    The summer after I started doing this work, I experienced a stabbing muscle spasm across my lower back as I was vacuuming my stairs. The spasm occurred in the very moment that I thought "Ugh, the carpeting on these stairs needs to be cleaned". Heh. I tried to ignore it, I tried to keep living my life, I even went to the gym as scheduled, but the pain kept getting worse over the course of a week, until I was using a ski pole to hobble around. In desperation, I called my favorite PT (he practices an interesting mix of specialized bodywork) from "Before Sarno" who couldn't fit me into his schedule, but he recommended a little book called Treat Your Own Back by a New Zealand chiropractor named Robin McKenzie. I got the book, and by the time I saw my PT two weeks later, I was fine. I had a significant amount of relief in the first 48 hours.

    It's a very small book, with a very simple system of three graduated exercises, all of them essentially based on the Cobra position.

    Three simple exercises - PLUS... an important instruction by the author about changing your mind. The author says up front that it's important for people to believe that they can completely recover from back pain !

    Doesn't that sound familiar? I thought it tied in quite well with TMS theory, and at the time, I really needed to hear it. You use the exercises (which are nothing special - you would do various forms of them in a yoga class) to create flexibility and strength, but at the same time, you also have to change your mind.

    He also said, interestingly for a chiro, that a huge number (like 80%?) of the people he saw in his practice did not need a chiropractic adjustment, but that they could be pain-free with the information in his book. Most of us just don't believe that we can heal ourselves.

    All of that being said, it looks like McKenzie went on to create a whole "method", and an institute, as well as several books, brand-name lumbar supports, etc. The back pain industry is just too lucrative. But I think there is a lot of value in his simple first book, if you can ignore the rest!

    Good luck,

    plum likes this.
  12. bagofwater

    bagofwater Peer Supporter

    Thanks Jan. Focused visualization before doing any kind of stretching seems like good advice. It’s not something I’d want to have to do forever of course, but it might help break the cycle. I’m also upping my journaling routine. I’ve always been lax when I’m not experiencing pain. I’m thinking that if I keep it up, as a routine, that might help me avoid relapse.

    ...mainly I’m baffled as to why this action is triggering me. I’m not aware of any shoe-tying or yoga trauma in my past, yet this simple stretch, or even the anticipation of the stretch, can provoke an extremely potent reaction.
  13. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hey sweetie,

    As one of the yoga-walking wounded I totally understand. If I do any style other than Yin Yoga I tend to come a cropper. I pretty much agree with @Tennis Tom when it comes to yoga. That said I've been practicing Yin for around two years now. Some people believe it is the original form of yoga because of the way it induces such peace of mind and stillness within the body. Meditation flows naturally after a session.

    I've found it unsurpassed for relieving pain and tension and for restoring flexibility. It is slow but sure going. One of the beautiful boons is that Yin is a very natural method of practicing what Alan Gordon calls Somatic Tracking. Given that he calls this the key to healing we should all be giddy as kippers.

    For me it is the crowning jewel in my recovery and since it is strongly correlated with emotional states, it can be tailored to suit your need and stresses at the time.

    There's a link to the sweet soul I follow at the end of My Story. If nothing else Yin has a mindset that Western yoga has completely lost and to reclaim it truly enriches the healing journey.

    Keep the Faith.

    Plum x
    Lily Rose likes this.
  14. bagofwater

    bagofwater Peer Supporter

    Thanks Plum!

    That advice is probably better for the OP than me however. What I'm doing, that's triggering severe attacks, isn't close to anything that would be called yoga. It's only simple stretching at the most (or just the anticipation of stretching!). I should probably start a separate thread since my issue is more about triggering than it is about the pros and cons of yoga as it relates to TMS.

    Before reading HBP I actually tried proper yoga in attempt to relieve my chronic back pain, but set it aside (along with all the other physical approaches. chiro, PT, acupuncture etc) to great success. Yoga seems like a great way to remain remain limber as well as emotionally centered. I aspire to again try it with those goals in mind, but I have a great deal of fear at this point. I'm probably overthinking as always, but I feel I need to first pin down whatever is causing these painful stretching-attacks before I can get serious with yoga.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

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