Yoga Yoga through Education Distance Yoga Education Arogyadhama - Holistic Health Home Yoga LibraryYoga ResearchAbout DDE, S-VYASA Useful Distance Yoga Downloads DDE Student's Corner

Yoga Programmes

Yoga » Yoga Therapy » Yoga Therapy for Common Ailments
Yoga Therapy for Common Ailments

SPONDYLOLISTHESIS


Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward in relation to an adjacent vertebra, usually in the lumbar spine. The spine is made up of a series of connected bones called "vertebrae." In about 5 percent of the adult population, there is a developmental crack in one of the vertebrae, usually at the point at which the lower (lumbar) part of the spine joins the tailbone (sacrum). Sometimes this cracked vertebra does slip forward over the vertebra below it. This is known as spondylolisthesis.

The symptoms that accompany a spondylolisthesis include pain in the low back, thighs, and/or legs, muscle spasms, weakness, and/or tight hamstring muscles. Some people are symptom free and find the disorder exists when revealed on an x-ray. In advanced cases, the patient may appear swayback with a protruding abdomen, exhibit a shortened torso, and present with a waddling gait.

Spondylolisthesis can be congenital (present at birth) or develop during childhood or later in life. The disorder may result from the physical stresses to the spine from carrying heavy things, weightlifting, football, gymnastics, trauma, and general wear and tear. As the vertebral components degenerate the spine's integrity is compromised.

Another type of spondylolisthesis is degenerative spondylolisthesis, occurring usually after age 50. This may create a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).

Diagnosis
A routine lateral (side) radiograph taken while standing confirms a diagnosis of a spondylolisthesis. The x-ray will show the translation (slip) of one vertebra over the adjacent level, usually the one below.

Using the lateral (side) x-ray, the slip is graded according to its degree of severity.

Can persons with spondylolisthesis lead a normal life?
Yes, during periods when there is pain and discomfort you need to avoid. Painful movements and weight lifting. But as the stability improves with no pain, you must start if all normal activities and gradually build up the ability to bend the spine in all directions.

What yoga practices to avoid?
Yoga practices include asana, pranayama, meditation along with lifestyle attitude change thoruh Yama, Niyama, Bhakti, Jnana and Karma yoga techniques. Apart from limiting some asanas and pranayamas. All other practies have to be done.

There is a popular belief that back bending is good for low back pain and forward bending is bad for back pain. In case of spondylolisthesis this low is reversed. As there is already excessive backward bending during normal standing in the waist region. If is important to avoid acute backward bending postures such as Ardha Cakrasana, Cakrasana, Ustrasana and Dhanurasana. Backward bending of Bhujangasana, Setubhandasana are welcome. Amonst pranayama practices you may need to avoid kapalabhati for short periods of a few days. Only during the phase of pain if the breathing movement is  aggravating the pain.

What yoga practices are to be emphasized?
Encourage forward bending with bent knees-such as sasankasana breathing, tiger breathing and pavana muktasana lumbar stretch. Initially these three practices are to be repeated every 2 hours during the days when you have pain. Once the pain goes you can go on gradually to learn all practices of yoga for positive health.

Specific practice for back pain
Folded leg lumbar stretch
Crossed leg lumbar stretch
Pavanamuktásana lumbar stretch
Seûubandhásana lumbar stretch
Dorsal stretch
Hand stretch breathing
Hands in and out breathing
Shoulder rotation
Loosening of Elbows
Loosening of Wrists
Hand stretch breathing
Hands in and out breathing
Neck bending
Tiger breathing
Rabbit breathing (with relaxation)
Ùaùáñkásana breathing
Bhujangásana breathing
Ardha Ùalabhásana breathing
Dorsal stretch
Straight leg raise breathing (alternate legs)
Seûubandhásana lumbar stretch
Pavanamuktásana lumbar stretch
Ardhakati Cakrásana
Ardha Cakrásana
Parivritta Trikoïásana
Bhujangásana
Ùalabhásana
Vakrásana (sitting in a chair)
Uútrásana

VIRANCHYASANA
Virancha or Viranchi is one of the names of Brahma, the supreme being, the first deity of the Hindu Trinity, to whom is entrusted the work of creating the world.

Technique :
1.   sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front.
2.   bend the right knee and place the right foot at the root of the left thigh in half Padmasana.
3.   Bend the left knee, bring the foot near the trunk and grasp the left ankle with both hands. Exhale, pull the left thigh up and back, bend the trunk a little forward and place left leg on the back of the neck. The outer side of the left leg just above the ankle will touch the back of the neck.
4.   raise the head and neck up, keep the back erect and let go of the left ankle.
5.   now raise the left arm up vertically, bend it at the elbow and take it behind the back of the neck over the left leg across the neck. Lower the right arm, bend it at the elbow and raise the right forearm up behind the back till the right hand is level with and between the shoulder-blades. Clasp the hands behind the back between the shoulder.
6.   stay in this pose from 10 to 20 seconds with normal breathing. Unclasp the hands, lower the left leg, straighten the right one and return to position I.
7.   Repeat the pose on the other side for the same length of time, reading left for right and vice versa.