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notalgia paresthetica

lisagwood
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08/18/2009 - 2:31pm
notalgia paresthetica
Hello, I LOVE your book!

I have a nasty case of notalgia paresthetica in my left mid-back area that often gets extreme with itching, tingling, burning and deep discoloration, especially in the morning after being upright for half an hour.

I'm a yoga teacher (4 years) and practitioner (30 years), and with the help of your book am trying to unlearn the "tuck your tailbone mantra" that has been deeply ingrained in me.  I normally do not have any lower back pain, and am fairly flexible.

I have pronounced kyphosis of the upper back and my shoulders hunch forward (I must always stay mindful with my posture in the area).  I presume this is the cause of the pinched nerves causing the NP, do you have any recommendations for specific exercises or areas of the back to work with that can relieve, or cure the NP?  I appreciate any advice you can give!

thanks, Lisa
Esther Gokhale's picture
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1. Be very careful not to further distend your spinal ligaments. It's great to stretch muscles, but not ligaments. A lot of serious yoga practitioners misunderstand where forward bends and backbends should happen (mainly the hip joints for forward bends and mainly L5-S1 for backbends) and overdo spinal twists. Even if it feels good to round your back a great deal, I recommend not doing that. If your muscles are tight and want a stretch there are better ways to achieve that (length, shear, slight rounding while lengthening, etc.)

2. Try using shea butter around your affected area (or anywhere on your body) - it has collaginase properties and helps hasten healing.

3. Massage and acupuncture can be helpful to hasten healing as well.

It sounds like you are doing the things I recommend for this that are in my book - don't tuck your pelvis (this is probably the origin of the problem) and try to experience the natural movement in your spine that accompanies breathing when you are well stacked.

Good luck!
lisagwood
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Thank you for the reply. I'm amazed at how much I automatically tuck my tailbone--  it's going to take some time to undo years of that behavior pattern!    Lisa
Esther Gokhale's picture
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Tucking the pelvis has become pretty endemic. But it shouldn't take years to change - more like weeks.
Smith Lyns
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