Case Study – Scoliosis and Sciatica

Blair dOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeveloped sciatica in March 2014 and came for her first private yoga therapy session in July suffering form constant pain in her lower left back, hip and down her left leg.  I  identifed the source of her sciatic pain which in Blair’s case was caused by tight muscles in her hip and buttock area, pinching her sciatic nerve.

By using several exercises that targeted these muscles and by using traction for her low back, she left the session with her pain being reduced from a 9 (out of 10) when she came in, to a 3. I created a program  that she could do daily at home, in order to exercise the muscles that were creating the pain.  Muscles have a “rubber band effect” in that they can be flexed and extended, shortened and lengthened but tend to go back to their habitual state unless they are regularly exercised. Regular practice is therefore essential to maintain the benefits of the exercises.

Once the sciatica pain was under control we started  working on exercises for her scoliosis, specifically stretching and strengthening the side of her body with the convexity and learning how to breathe into that area. In addition to the physical exercise, I introduced Blair to Pranayama (Breath work) which allowed her to deepen her breath, which is often very shallow. This not only benefits her scoliosis buy provides her with a  means to calm and quieten her mind.

Blair’s goal after being able to manage the pain was to be able to attend regular yoga classes in order to build her strength and flexibility and also to learn how to manage her breathing to reduce anxiety.  She attended her first group class in mid-October.

Blair’s comments:

“In March 2014, my husband and I drove out to California. Somehow, I think due to too many hours sitting, I developed a pinched sciatic nerve that was extremely painful. Upon coming home, I tried 3 chiropractors etc. and it only got worse. A few friends suggested I try yoga. I found Caroline Ramsay and she agreed that was a good idea I have an MRI on my lower back and my hip as my hip was in a lot of pain. I was so glad Caroline had me do this as I was concerned about my hip and it’s condition. I found out my hip was fine, and the pain was all part of my scoliosis and pinched nerve. Then Caroline did a lot of research on my behalf and put me on a custom set of yoga exercises that immediately started reducing the pain. Caroline was diligent with her monitoring of me and has also helped me to breath better which has become an  added bonus to my overall well being.

It is a work in progress, however my pain is now much more manageable. I feel so much more in control of fixing my body and keeping it healthy. Thank you Caroline for all that you have done and continue to do on my behalf.”

Blair Bâby, October 2014

Please check with your doctor to confirm that yoga is appropriate for your condition.

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