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Can postural strain lead to pain?

Q: I am a 28 years healthy male. I exercise about 1 hour (mainly cardio excercises) 4 to 5 days in a week. My height is 6 ft and weight 88 kg. I have lots of fruits, vegetables and high protein food. About a month back, I attended a meditation workshop in which we had to sit in various asans, etc from 10 am to 8 pm, and as I am not in the habit of sitting on the floor, I felt very uncomfortable with pain in legs, muscles etc. It has been a month since, but I am still not in the form I used to be. I feel very stiff in early mornings and pain is shifting from one place to another. Secondly, as season is changing (from summer to winter), does it have anything to do with my discomfort? I occasionally use sauna and steam baths. Will they improve my condition or worsen it (due to sudden climatic changes)? Please suggest what I should do?

A:There is not much to worry about if your pain is shifting. No doubt, there could be an underlying postural strain and the prolonged stress you have had could well have triggered your present condition. Retaining of postural awareness and a sound basis of movement should be the integral part of your treatment programme. Have yourself checked by a physiotherapist if you are developing lordosis (excessive lumbar curve) in the lumbar spine. Pool exercises are helpful. But, try this before that. If so, you could hold a float above trunk level, and do side-flexion of the spine with alternate hands, pushing the floats in water, progressing to holding bats to increase the resistance. If you have a problem doing this you may need to lengthen your hip flexors or back extensors. Start exercises with knees bent or apply gentle soft tissue massage to mobilize the soft tissue over the lumbar spine. To relieve pain, it is important to do this before pool exercises. For pool exercises, move the joints through full range together with improving heart and lung function. The warmth of the water and the weight relief provided allows the muscles and the joints to be exercised without pain or damage. Make sure you do 5 minutes of warm-up exercises (spot-walk) and 5 minutes of cool-down exercises.(stretching and breathing exercises). Winter does give a slight pain and stiffness to the joints but not an uncomfortable level if there is no underlying factor to predispose pain. Steam baths should help muscular recovery.

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