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power yoga

LovinggardenerLLovinggardener Posts: 494
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Exercise and Rehab
I am a huge yoga fan, but some of the poses caused me pain. My PT said after a month of therapy, I should be able to resume yoga.

I know downward dog, fold over, any poses that requires twisting or bending cause problems for people with herniated discs. Well...I don't have one now, because I had 2 microdiscectomies.

But I am scared to go back to yoga. What I found is that I don't realize that I have done something wrong until the next day. While doing yoga, I don't feel any pain. My yoga instructor just told me to do what I can do and stop if I am pain.

I would like to hear from people who practice yoga after lower back (herniate disc) surgery.


  • hi! :H i had a double laminectomy many years ago but i practice yoga now as a way of pain control =D> i just adjust some of the poses to be more practical and less painful for me to use.. :? i would be very careful and remember you can change up the poses so they meet the requirements of not hurting your back..good luck and i hope you find a way to make Yoga work for you. :D Jenny :)
  • Hi lovinggardener (love your name). I'm doing yoga now, post-op, and never did it prior to my C4-5 herniation. I love it! It has been wonderful for my recovery. We started slow and we continually add new positions and new difficulties....always being cautious and careful not to irritate my neck. My instructor is really good at focussing on what I can and can't do. But we'va also progressed over the past year and increased what I can do as my strength and ROM improve.

    I think the right instructor is key to the success of yoga in our situations. Enjoy!
  • I was going to an elite yoga studio, but I guess the instructors were not knowledgeable on how to instruct students with neck, back, or other pain issues.

    I've learned that even though you pay a lot, you may not get the best advice and instruction.

    I will be on a search for an instructor who knows how to teach students with back issues.

  • Thanks for all the ideas about Yoga. I'm a snowboard instructor and psychologist, and was worried that I wouldn't be able to go back to doing the yoga. One of my orthos told me I'll never run or do yoga again after my surgery (ALIF L4,5,s-1 & cementing compression fractures). I'm glad to hear your success stories.

    Thank you!
  • Namaste, i am glad you found the studio was not adequate to keep you safe. :D now you know what you are looking for in a studio and instructor.. :? good luck on finding someone to teach you in a way that will not hurt you!!! =D> Jenny :)
  • You might try calling one of the hospitals in your area to see if they offer yoga instruction. A friend of mine teaches yoga to breast cancer patients at a hospital in my city. I know other hospitals offer classes as well. If you had something similar in your city, you could perhaps get a recommendation or talk to the teacher to see if s/he could suggest someone who works with orthopedic spine patients.

    Will you be returning to the classroom this fall? Sounds like your recovery is coming along...hurray!!
  • Please note that the other posters had a different procedure from a fusion. You will need to be more careful as you reintegrate your former activities into your new physical condition.

    Remember that it takes many years to develop a good, strong fusion. Any twisting motion done on a repetitive basis is not recommended for fused spines. Also, forward bends and any extension is not recommended for those of us with fusions.

    Your surgeon is giving you cautious advice so that he will not have to operate on you again in the future.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    me based on my spinal situation to never take on pure normal Yoga. Some of the positions could create a lot of new problems. I needed to (but have not done so) is to look for those Yoga instructors who are skilled to handle Spinal patients and can work with very passive yoga.
    Even the Yoga on Wi Fit may be too aggressive for some spinal patients.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I took weekly yoga sessions before and after my lumbar fusion. Sometimes by the time I was in my car my back started hurting, but I kept telling myself how "good" yoga was for me. It wasn't until I finally went back to my surgeon for new x-rays to see all of the new damage I had done. Of course, this was not all caused by yoga, however, I think all of the bending, twisting, etc. did some damage. Depending on what our problem is we need to be careful, I know for my personal situation that most yoga positions are out of the question. Each of us Spineys need to do, or not do, depending on our situation.
  • I too have just restarted yoga 2 years after spinal fusion{also have cervical fusion}did it for 15 years regularly before surgeries.Am sore today I am researching and consulting with my instructor as to what yoga positions are harmful to my neck and back.Everyone of course has a different surgery story-A lot of the yoga positions are bad for your neck-bridge and reverse poses-I think the twisting poses are what hurt my back.I will modify and just relax when poses come up that are not appropriate.I don't want to hurt myself finding out.
  • Really check out what your yoga instructor advises you. Many of them while well-meaning do not have sufficient knowledge of the surgically remade spine to give you safe advice. They may tell you it is perfectly safe and even "good for you" but, ultimately, it is up to you to check it out to be sure.

    Also, my feeling about some of these things is that even though they may be "safe," do I want to do it badly enough to risk possible harm down the road? I figure my back only has so much life left in it and I try to protect my fusion to avoid getting problems with adjacent segments. But that is a personal decision.

    There are ways you can continue with yoga by just avoiding some of the poses. There are a couple good DVDs that address this topic. One is approved by some spinal group. I'll see if I can find the information for you.

  • I used to practice power yoga every day. I loved it, and a lot of the standard yoga poses are great for strengthening the back and core, as well as overall toning.

    But every physical therapist, neurosurgeon and spine surgeon I talked to told me to never, ever do another headstand. The spine is simply not meant to bear weight that way.

    All yoga positions have modifications. You don't need to do a deep twist to get the full benefit of the pose. If your yoga teacher cannot tell you how to modify poses that make you nervous or cause pain, then you need to need to find a smarter, more experienced and compassionate teacher.

  • Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to find a yoga instructor (based anywhere in the US) that works with spinal fusion cases. Anyone have any recommendations??

    gwennie17--I'd be interested in checking out the DVDs you mentioned if you happen across their names or where to find them.


    (T10-L3 fusion due to fractured L1 in a plane crash)
  • I warmed up to getting back into yoga by doing my own slightly modified edited to get back into some of the more awkward and hard poses.

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  • I am a best friend of yoga because yoga remove my back pain.
  • yoga has definitely helped me strengthen my back but there are still some basic moves (sphinx for example) that i still cannot do because i feel a sharp pain in my back

    hopefully over time this will disappear
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