Yin poses for upper thoracic pain after scar tissue formed

There are often many questions about Yin Yoga and specific spinal conditions. Feel free to ask your question here, or check out other posts or contribute input from your own experience.
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Robhuwj
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:25 am

Yin poses for upper thoracic pain after scar tissue formed

Post by Robhuwj »

I survived septicaemia in 2010 but they had to remove three sections of spinal protrusions (laminectomies) to get at the infection. I made a full recovery but 3 years later started getting chest and then upper-back pain. I tried massage but the benefit was short-term as my upper back muscles and those along the length of the spine were in constant 'spasm' i.e. tight.

After MRI scan I was operated on to drain a cyst in my spine, as it was thought scar tissue had blocked circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. 2 years after that I have constant pain in a band between my shoulder blades, and chest pain. I get some relief from massage and AIS (Active Isolated Stretching) but I wonder whether there are any yin yoga poses that might help?

A massage therapist believes scar tissue to the side of my spine at shoulder blade level is a contributory factor, and physio believes head and shoulders forward is another
Bernie
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Post by Bernie »

Hi Rob

I am sorry to hear about your health challenges. I am not a therapist, so I have no idea of the following suggestions will help you or not, but if you try them, do so with full attention. Start with shorter holds and work up to longer stresses over time. 2 minutes to begin with may be enough but you could work up to 5.

For the upper back, flexion can be achieved with forward folds like Caterpillar and Butterfly, Extension can be achieved with Sphinx pose, but I particularly love Heart Melting pose (Anahatasana). Twists may be good too, both Reclining Twists with the knees drawn into the chest and sitting twists, such as while in Shoelace pose or while simply sitting crosslegged. Side-bending happens in Bananasana.

For work directly on the shoulders and arms, you will find several options in this article on Yin Yoga for the Upper Body.

I hope these help!
Cheers
Bernie
Robhuwj
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:25 am

Post by Robhuwj »

Hi Bernie,

thanks so much for your time and suggestions, and no need to feel sorry. There are far worse off than me, and I am eternally grateful to be upright and breathing - septicaemia carries off most people in the state I was in. The surgeon told me that I had a 50/50 chance of survival, and the operation was 6 hours long with 2 surgical teams in Auckland. They had to lift each vertebrae to extract the infection, and surgery notes regularly use the phrase "Copious amount of pus were removed". Incidentally, as I follow the U.S. scene, the surgery, 4 MRI's, 1 month in hospital and 3 months with penicillin bottle replaced daily, plus operation to drain a cyst in my spine 3 years later, cost me precisely nothing, as NZ's National Health system has a reciprocal agreement with UK's.

I am using the anahatsana pose and seem to be getting some benefit. I will follow the others you suggest and look at the Upper Body article. I will keep you posted with results

Thanks again, Rob
Robhj
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:25 am
Location: Invercargill, New Zealand

Post by Robhj »

Hi Bernie, I am benefiting from your book and spend 1 hour each day doing a flow that excludes forward bends

I have just recommended your website to a colleague who is a sufferer

Thanks so much, Rob
Bernie
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Post by Bernie »

I am glad to hear you are improving, Rob. That's great. Thanks for the feedback.

Bernie
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