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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