Slowly overcoming another injury: my lower back and hip pain

I’ve mentioned my lower back and/or hip pain on the blog in passing, but I have never written about it in detail. It wasn’t a pain that held me back from my usual activities until it did. It began as a discomfort, which would appear while I was practicing yoga. Anytime I bent over or reached forward my lower back would be tight and uncomfortable. Then in turned into discomfort at night when I was trying to sleep. I would periodically wake up to readjust my body to relieve some of the, dare I call it pain. I would also wake up with uncomfortable lower back tightness, which then made my early morning workouts a drag.

I can’t really pin point and exact moment when I injured myself. I think it may have happened over time. I also can’t figure which modality of working out sprung it on. Luckily running doesn’t bother it. I mostly notice it when I am doing boot camp or yoga. I can remember it being an issue as far back as January. So yeah it’s been sucking for almost a year.

A few weeks back I got fed up and decided I needed a new plan of attack to make this hip/lower back problem resolve. I’ve found some relief from my chiropractor, but nothing dramatic. I found some relief taking time off from yoga, but again no miracle. So I gave in and decided to try something extremely radical for me, Feldenkrais. What? What the hell is this Feldenkrais you’re asking? I can never explain it very well so here is a more helpful description from http://www.feldenkrais.com.

“The Feldenkrais Method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. These improvements will often generalize to enhance functioning in other aspects of your life.”

I have been doing recorded Awareness Though Movement (ATM) lessons every day for over a month. I have experienced terrific results. First thing I noticed after just a few days was I didn’t need to wake up and readjust to make myself more comfortable in the middle of the night. Then after a couple more days I began waking up each morning without any pain. Now I can enjoy yoga without the lower back tightness holding me back. There are some movements that I am still careful about doing. In my Bikram yoga class there is a pose or two that still bug me and the kettle bell swings in boot camp class, but I am confident that with more Feldenkrais practice I will be back to normal fairly soon.

The ATM lessons take time (30-60 minutes each day) and consistency (every day if you can), but they are easy, super relaxing and beneficial in helping reduce pain in the body.

My husband is a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais method. I’m sure he is saying “I told you so.” right about now.

Have you heard of the Feldenkrais Method? Are you interested in learning more?

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