Health Fitness

Modified yoga relieves leg pain

Many people have severe leg pain that disrupts their lives. No one wants to move when they are in pain. I think that’s part of the problem. A catch 22. Once a person is in severe pain; they become more sedentary. It’s because of the pain, they don’t want to move too much. It is completely understandable. For older people who have fallen and broken a hip or leg, the doctor tells them not to move too much. After healing, many people still have a don’t move mentality. Sciatica, knee and hip pain, burning sensations, numb legs, and cramps are other severe leg pain. The challenge is that leg pains get confused.

Modified yoga is actually a very good remedy for leg pain. Many of my clients have hip replacements, knee replacements, sciatica and at least one has a broken pelvis that has been mending for a year, severe leg cramps and blood clots. Modified yoga assists the client in their healing rhythm. People may stop when the pain is severe or change their position if it becomes too much for them. Nobody has exactly the same time to heal. Some heal in a relatively short time; 4 weeks or so, and others with a more serious injury could take a whole year or more.

People are surprised when their bodies take a long time to heal. Somehow it is appreciated when people heal quickly, as if they were super human. I’m just saying, “It will take as long as it takes.” Another problem is that doctors don’t fully understand the stretches and benefits of modified yoga, so they tell the patient not to move! If people continue to stretch their hips, thighs, and calves, and do everything slowly, they will get blood circulating, which aids in healing. They would start to improve over time. As soon as someone feels a twinge of pain, they walk away, instead of giving themselves a moment to let it go, and just get some rest. They plunge back into a sedentary lifestyle.

Also, when a client comes to my class, I want to understand what kind of life they lead at home. I want to know what they eat and what they don’t eat. In addition to giving them a modified yoga lesson, I might suggest eating cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. For its beneficial properties. If they experience leg cramps, you might suggest they drink a glass of tomato juice a day, which contains potassium to relieve leg cramps.

I ask how they sleep. Do you stack your legs on top of each other, press one of your heels against your calf muscle? A simple change in sleeping habits and your leg pain is gone. I also find out what kind of shoes they wear and describe the pain in their legs. If they describe foot, heel, and lower leg pain, I would suggest they buy new shoes, due to the lack of support for the shoes.

If you have sciatica issues, we do some pretty specific stretches to stretch your back, hips, and thighs. If you are dealing with a knee injury, we strengthen and stretch your legs to help your knee recover. I notice immediately if a person locks their knee when walking, and I immediately instruct them to be more aware of the knee lock. If they can change the position of the leg to a slightly bent knee, the knee pain would decrease.

Throughout the modified yoga class, the knee should be bent to protect it and release tension in the back. The tailbone and pelvic bone should be rotated towards the navel, which relieves pressure from the back, and just that small adjustment may be enough to release the tension of sciatica. Modified yoga works for most pain, but people just have to have a little patience.

A yoga class is not a pain pill that only covers the symptoms. We really found out what happens to a person’s lower back, legs, hips, and feet. All this does not happen immediately, because the client is learning about her own body. Each change of position, and subtly of stretching, begins to make them feel much better. Then each client has to continue at home. To keep your legs slightly bent, to do strengthening exercises, to protect your knees. Be careful where you place your feet so you don’t fall off and re-injure your legs, knees, ankles, or feet.

It’s more like a lifestyle. Modified Yoga isn’t just a class, it’s the body mechanics that go along with it. How can a person move their body in a smooth way that releases and permanently releases body tension?

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