Yoga is a popular workout and also a great activity to help ease muscle and joint pains. The stretching and gentle strength training that yoga provides is a great way for people of all ages and shapes to get a workout in. However, if done incorrectly, yoga can actually cause injuries. In fact, recent controversy has emerged surrounding the connection between yoga and various injuries. Yoga beginners, in particular, are at risk of injury.
Why is Yoga Resulting in Injury?
Health professionals are finding bursitis, tendinitis, and muscle strains to be particularly prevalent in yoga participants. Dr. Malone, of Advanced Pain Care, says “…the majority of these injuries are caused by an overuse or straining of the muscles. We see it all the time – people who have tried difficult exercises without possessing the strength to properly perform them. This often results in strains that can range from minor to excruciatingly painful.” Since yoga relies so heavily on the proper alignment of the body, it is easy to injure yourself by performing a move incorrectly. Often, yoga novices cannot sense when they are performing a stretch or move improperly. Holding an incorrect pose for an extended period can put a lot of strain on a particular muscle, joint, tendon or ligament.
Having muscles that are too tight or too flexible can put you at risk for injury as well. If your muscles are too tight and you attempt to force your body into a difficult pose, you will likely strain another area in order to do so. If your muscles are too flexible, you will rely on your flexibility instead of your muscle strength to maintain poses, resulting in strained tendons and ligaments.
How Can You Prevent Yoga Injuries While Practicing Yoga?
To avoid injury while practicing yoga, it is important that you are aware of your body. You must be conscious of your own limits, and know when to limit yourself during a certain pose or stretch. In a learning environment, this should be the shared responsibility of both the student and the yoga instructor. The instructor understands the proper positions, but the student needs to be able to tell if they are capable of holding a certain position without risking injury. Find a yoga instructor who pays attention to your physical cues and is aware and respectful of your limits.
What Should You Do if You Are Experiencing Pain?
Muscular pain is to be expected after a session of yoga, as it is an exercise. However, yoga should not cause any type of long-term pain. If pain following yoga lasts beyond a few days, you may benefit from the advice of a health professional. It is important to evaluate the cause of your pain so that you can avoid continued injury. It may be that you are performing a move incorrectly, you are pushing yourself too far, or any number of different reasons. If done correctly, yoga should not cause long-term pain and can actually be beneficial in decreasing bodily pain.
About the author
Advanced Pain Care is a pain management facility with locations throughout Central Texas. For more information follow Advanced Pain Care on Facebook.