October 20, 2017
If You Do Yoga, Be Careful!
Wellness Tip

If You Do Yoga, Be Careful!

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you do yoga, be careful: A 2017 study in the Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies reported that yoga caused pain in about 10 percent of people and exacerbated pre-existing pain in 20 percent—even though yoga is often viewed as a low-risk activity and is practiced as a way to relieve musculoskeletal pain.

The study tracked 354 participants at two yoga studios over a year. One-third of those with “new” pain had to stop doing yoga for more than three months. The most common injuries reported were to the wrists and hands, attributed possibly to the downward dog pose. But any pose can be risky if done incorrectly or to excess or done by people with previous injuries or biomechanical problems.

Other research has cited headstands, handstands, shoulder stands, lotus position, and forward and backward bends as being associated with the most injuries. If you take classes, be sure to inform your instructor about any musculoskeletal problems or past injuries and go at your own pace (it’s not a competition). There are ways to modify positions so they don’t cause or increase pain.

Also see Which Type of Yoga Is for You?