Back Pain

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Back Pain

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:46 am

Recently I've been having very bad back pain while meditating. I sit in Burmese position and meditate for thirty minutes every day. The pain is predominantly around my right shoulder blade. I sit on a zafu and zubaton. I've tried meeting it with metta and just continuing to focus on the breath. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn't. I've also tried making it the object of my meditation, but attention seems to make the pain stronger. Today I had to cut my meditation short it was so bad. I have scoliosis, and my back has always bothered me but it's always been my lower back. I'm worried I may be doing damage, but I'm hoping its something that just needs to be overcome. Does anyone have any recommendations, or experience with similar pain?




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Re: Back Pain

Postby barcsimalsi » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:09 am

I always regulate between lying and sitting posture. But if you had problems with sleepiness, you can try regulate between walking and sitting or find a chair that allow you to lean.
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Re: Back Pain

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:16 am

PsychedelicSunSet wrote:Recently I've been having very bad back pain while meditating. I sit in Burmese position and meditate for thirty minutes every day. The pain is predominantly around my right shoulder blade. I sit on a zafu and zubaton. I've tried meeting it with metta and just continuing to focus on the breath. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn't. I've also tried making it the object of my meditation, but attention seems to make the pain stronger. Today I had to cut my meditation short it was so bad. I have scoliosis, and my back has always bothered me but it's always been my lower back. I'm worried I may be doing damage, but I'm hoping its something that just needs to be overcome. Does anyone have any recommendations, or experience with similar pain?


Since you mention you have scoliosis - I recommend that you visit your doctor and discuss the issue with him or her.
Perhaps myotherapy is in order - or perhaps change your posture, or use a chair.
All the best,

Ben




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Re: Back Pain

Postby dagon » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:53 pm

Ben wrote:
PsychedelicSunSet wrote:Recently I've been having very bad back pain while meditating. I sit in Burmese position and meditate for thirty minutes every day. The pain is predominantly around my right shoulder blade. I sit on a zafu and zubaton. I've tried meeting it with metta and just continuing to focus on the breath. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn't. I've also tried making it the object of my meditation, but attention seems to make the pain stronger. Today I had to cut my meditation short it was so bad. I have scoliosis, and my back has always bothered me but it's always been my lower back. I'm worried I may be doing damage, but I'm hoping its something that just needs to be overcome. Does anyone have any recommendations, or experience with similar pain?


Since you mention you have scoliosis - I recommend that you visit your doctor and discuss the issue with him or her.
Perhaps myotherapy is in order - or perhaps change your posture, or use a chair.
All the best,

Ben

:namaste:
[/quote]

i agree with Ben about getting checked by a doctor but i would add a couple more comments

You spend a lot of time studying - have your posture analysed when you are studying - especial when you are writing as opposed to using a computer. (The Uni MAY have some one who is trained in this area). You may find that you are twisting setting up tension in the shoulder. While you are engaged in some kind of movement the problems may not be so evident but when you are still in meditation it may allow the tension to set in. Tension causes pain, and pain in its turn causes pain - so on and so forth.

Pain is not necessarily caused at the point of sensation - pain is often referred to other location. For example people will complain of tingling in some of their fingers. In the context of muscular skeletal problem this could well indicate a problem in the second or third vertebrae (relying on memories from about 25 years ago). This is part of the reason why you should see a doctor.

Armed with all of the information from the sources indicated then i would go and see a physiotherapist - who will be less likely to recommend surgery which should always be the last resort. i would guess that you undertake limited physical exercise due to your know condition - a good physio maybe able to suggest ways in which you can build your muscles without pulling your spine further out of alignment. One of the things that may be suggested is that you improve your core strength/abs as they are the major support for you spine. In trying to do that you should seek advise as to what are the most appropriate exercises - static exercise such as "planks" may be more appropriate than "curls and crunches". Do NOT talk to a sports trainer - see a physio.

I am NOT giving you expert advise - just had some of the same problems when i was at Uni. I have not had any more back pain for 20 years, lol

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Re: Back Pain

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:57 pm

Dagon,

I didn't even think about my time spent studying. I do notice after a long amount of homework/studying my back hurts greatly. I'll make sure to be more mindful of that throughout the day, and see how that helps. I don't really have time to see a doctor at the moment. I believe I have a scheduled visit in December, so I'll make sure to talk to him then.
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Re: Back Pain

Postby dagon » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:57 am

advice to see a doctor still stands....

BUT:-
If you are using pain medication on a regular basis remember that the medication taken before the pain starts will have twice the effect as medication taken after the pain had commenced - but that can mask the indications that you body is giving you through pain. If that approach is used the you NEED to ensure that you have the best possible posture!!!

Use appropriate stretching exercises before and after sitting studying and meditation.

Use heat to remove tension in your back - what i used to do was to role a damped towel up so that it would extend beyond the problem areas of the spine. Microwave the towel so that it was very warm but not hot. Lay with my spine resting on the towel and with a pillow under my knees to flatten the back. Maximum of 10 mins of treatment and a minimum of 20 mins "rest" if i was going to repeat the treatment.

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