An acute strain can be caused by a trauma, an injury, or by over-stressing or over-stretching the muscles. A strain produces symptoms of mild to moderate pain, muscle spasms, decreased muscle strength, and reduced range of motion. Chronic strains are usually the result of overuse–prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons, and can lead to tendonitis . A gentle practice of spinal lengthening, forward folding and back bending poses will circulate prana and blood to help heal a strained back and alleviate pain. Yoga poses that promote good posture, strengthen the abdominals and stretch the hamstrings will also be helpful.
For an acute phase of pain, yoga is not appropriate for 48 hours or until the acute period passes. If a yoga pose causes any pain, tingling, or numbness, stop immediately. Move into the poses slowly and gently; use long hold times and practice slow deep breathing in the poses. Any movements that increase your symptoms should be avoided. End with a long shavasana with bolster under knees and/or a folded blanket under the low back to support the low back.
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