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How to tell what your pain means – and how to fix it…
Lower Back Strain
You feel: A tearing sensation in your lower back followed by a sharp pain during straight-leg forward bends.
Now heal this: Ice for 20 minutes, says certified yoga instructor Roger Cole, Ph.D. Remove for about 20, then ice again. Repeat often for 2 days. If you’re pain-free for a month, ease back into your yoga routine. Loosen the area with a hot compress for 10 minutes beforehand. Call an orthopedist if pain is ever severe.
Strained Knee Cartilage
You feel: A pinching on the inside of your knee while in lotus position.
Now heal this: Do the same icing routine as above. If walking still hurts after a few days, see a doctor to make sure the cartilage isnt torn. Otherwise, plan on a month of rest (gentle yoga is okay, but no lotus-ing, ladies) and exercises that strengthen the quads and hamstrings.
You feel: Acute cramping down the back of your thigh and around your sit bones during forward-bending poses.
Now heal this: Cease leg-related activity. Rest, ice (20 minutes on, 20 off), and elevate your leg on a pillow while you sleep. If your leg swells, wrap it in an elastic bandage. If the pain is severe or lasts a few days, see a doc. After a month, take easy half-hour walks. After 8 weeks, add hills. Begin your regular routine when you’ve been pain-free for at least 8 weeks.