Yoga: is it dangerous if I have back pain?

When we think of yoga, we often imagine gentle movements-after all, there are no contacts or violent impacts on joints! With the recent rise in popularity of "therapeutic yoga", many have seen their back pain, muscle tension and joint stiffness decrease! Yet, although very low, there is a risk of in..

Yet, although very low, there is a risk of injury when doing yoga.
An Australian study found a 2.4% injury rate due to yoga when interviewing over 2500 yogis.

When we think of yoga, we often imagine gentle movements-after all, there are no contacts or violent impacts on joints! With the recent rise in popularity of “therapeutic yoga”, many have seen their back pain, muscle tension and joint stiffness decrease! Yet, although very low, there is a risk of injury when doing yoga. An Australian study found a 2.4% injury rate due to yoga when interviewing over 2500 yogis. The main injuries affected the neck, hamstrings, knees, wrists … and of course the back region!

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these injuries by adopting appropriate strategies. In this article, we will share the best recommendations given by our physiotherapists to people who practice yoga and want to avoid damaging their backs:

Do not compare yourself to others!
The main cause of yoga injuries is undoubtedly ego. Let’s be honest, when we look around and see everyone adopting a certain pose, we will do what it takes to not be like others… even if it means getting out of our comfort zone! Do not look around too much, and concentrate on your own body. Even better, join classes where other people are on the same level!

Be progressive!
We often hear that we should not overload our bodies and go step by step when doing yoga. Easy to say, but what exactly does that mean? Here is an analogy to keep in mind every time you try something new:

  • Green light: If the movement is carried out with ease and without any discomfort, the risk of injury is very low. Continue to adopt the same approach.
  • Yellow light: If you feel pain while performing a new exercise, stop immediately. If the discomfort disappears after resting, resume the movement but this time not as intensively.
  • Red light: Again, stop if you feel pain while attempting a new pose. However, if the pain does not resolve after prolonged rest, it is better to stop the session and warn your instructor.

Do not overload your body
Even if you adopt the best posture and go progressively, your body still has limits that must not be exceeded. If you’re too intense when doing yoga and your body is not fit able to sustain you are imposing him, you are at risk of injury. So beware of the new trend that consists of doing yoga retreats- where people do yoga for long hours everyday for a certain period.

Be careful with your back!
If you have-or have had-back problems, you must be particularly careful when practicing yoga. Since many poses involve lumbar flexion and torsions, it is even more important to respect the concepts outlined above! Make sure to inform your instructor of any health problems before joining a class.

Find a competent instructor
The best way to avoid injury is to find an instructor who has the right expertise and experience. He will be able to make the necessary modifications and adjustments to prevention injuries.

If you have occasional or chronic back pain and you are interested in yoga, Lombafit Studio may be able to help. Our exercise classes designed to treat low back pain are inspired by the practice of yoga in addition to other modalities. If you want to know more about us, visit www.lombafitstudio.com to learn about our services and take advantage of our introductory offer. Also make sure to get your free educational booklet that will change the way you see your back problems!

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