What Is That Burning Sensation In The Lower Back After Forward Bends?

August 6, 2019

Transcript below of: What is that burning sensation in the lower back after forward bends?

Hey everybody! Welcome to another question of the month. As you know I answer a question on video every single month. You can submit your own question. Just go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion. If it’s a good one, we’ll answer it on video. So this question comes from Davis. Davis asks about a burning sensation in the lower back after forward bends.

Learn a system for working with injuries

The Question:

He says:
“I’m 24 years old and [have been] practicing [for] 1 year and a half. My body is 6’ 3’’ and weight is 154.32 lbs. It is pretty flexible. [For] a couple of weeks I’ve [been] having like a little burning sensation in the lower back, in the spine in particular — let’s say from L2 to L5 — when I do padangusthasana, padahastasana, and paschimottanasana. And, the apex is when finish with the deep backbending and I go into paschimottanasana again. What is your thought? Should I make a little step back and make all my forward bending concentrate more on elongating my spine instead of deeply bending forward?”

The Answer:

So, what comes up for me is, especially when you say like a burning sensation — this is general, generally speaking — burning sensations are more likely associated with connective tissues, fascia, and potentially ligamentous even. I’m going to go out on a limb here and take a guess and use my intuition, you know, based on what you wrote and how you wrote it, etc., because I’ve had this experience myself before.

In my case, it happened as a result of leg-behind-head where you’re going into a deep flexion in the spine and I had a little bit of, in a sense, like an over-stretch. It wasn’t a big pop. It wasn’t a bang. I didn’t have a lot of pain afterward. And, I’ve met other people who have had similar experiences, not necessarily in leg-behind-head. And basically, what it seems like happens is, there are ligaments that connect the spinous processes together. Those are the bumps that stick out on your back. The ligamentous structure that connects those spinous processes together, if it gets over-stretched — which you could call it a tear; we’re talking minor at this point, but still like a minor tear there, an over-stretch to it — it tends to make a pfft kind of sound, almost. It could be like a little pop or a click even.

In my case at least, when I would do flexion of the spine, when I would round and shorten the front of my spine, I would feel it. It would burn. When I went into backbending type postures, even as simple as updog, or a big urdhva dhanurasana, I wouldn’t feel it at all, which let me know that — that’s kind of how I got to it being the over-stretching. You may also want to read What is Causing Low Back Pain in Forward Bending?

So, you’re only feeling it in the forward bends. You didn’t mention anything about backbends, so, I don’t necessarily know. But, I’m going to guess that it’s probably something like that based on what you wrote. If you want to, you should always be putting length into your forward bends anyway. If you’re not moving enough from your hip flexors, and rounding your spine in your forward bends generally, that’s how this could happen. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. It could happen over a period of time.

Alright? I hope that helps. Everybody else, thanks for watching. If you’ve got your own question that you want to submit, you can go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion.

Check out our online courses and workshops