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Is Yoga Safe?

How Safe is Yoga?

This is a great article from the New York Times that talks about the potential dangers of Yoga.  When choosing ways to exercise Yoga is perceived as a relatively safe alternative to other forms of exercise (ie running, kick boxing, boot camp classes, etc). This misconception can lead many to let their “guard down” and have students  push their bodies beyond their ability that can result in serious injuries.

High Risk Poses

I have a list of certain poses that I feel are a high risk for most patients.
An example of of poses that are generally riskier are ones that cause extreme neck flexion, inversion poses and shoulder stands.  Based on a patients medical history certain poses should be modified or avoided completely.   In the case of someone who suffers from osteoporosis excessive flexion of the lumbar spine has been shown in studies to increase the incidence of compression fractures.
Another high risk is bending forwarding in sitting and standing with knees remaining straight especially with combined with some rotation puts a tremendous amount of stress on people  with disk herniations.  One of the troublesome aspects of disk herniations is in the early stages patients can be causing damage without any symptoms of pain because the inner portion of the disk lacks a nerve supply.
When a patient  is returning to yoga after receiving physical therapy I have them demonstrate the poses that they would like to return to and provide some feedback. Follow this link to understand the risks so you can safely enjoy yoga and know the right questions to ask.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine/how-yoga-can-wreck-your-body.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

In the surrounding  Paramus, Ridgewood and Bergen County area there are several options for yoga so you should be able to find one that fits your needs. At Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in addition to providing orthopedic and sports physical therapy in Paramus, NJ we offer consultations for anyone concerned about starting yoga or any new exercise program without needing a referral from your physician.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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