7 Most Common Yoga Injuries and Ways to Recover

In the face of all the healing, relaxing, agility-improving and mentally expanding benefits that one can derive from the practice of Yoga, injuries still do occur. The original Asanas have long become merged with other forms such as Pilates and martial arts training to adapt to local conditions and cultural temperaments. Unfortunately, the very purpose of Asanas, which is to prepare the mind for meditation, is often forgotten. Yoga has become more than training to yoke the body, mind and spirit but rather the conditioning of the mind and body. Enthusiasm, the lack of common sense, and too often, a lack of guidance from a bona fide teacher, guru, or professional more often than not results in injuries.  Like all other forms of exercise, yoga requires a little bit of pre-workout muscle warming that is often neglected. Abrupt execution of certain poses creates problems such as:

1. Knee problems occur when doing such poses as the full lotus.  This posture forces the muscles to be extended, joints to be twisted beyond their usual range of movement, and bones to be subjected to strain.  Knee damage happens when the lotus pose is adopted without first working towards flexibility of the leg and hip muscles. One can support the knees with a Rehband knee sleeve, and this can also be used for knee pain relief. This is a neoprene sleeve, which gives the knee the compression and warmth without deterring flexibility in movements in yoga exercises.

2. Hamstring injuries including pulled muscles occur just below the sit bone. In yoga, these usually do not happen suddenly, unlike in running. The tendons undergo micro-tears over several practice sessions until one small stretching movement such as bending forward to reach the toes finally pushes it beyond its remaining capacity. This can result in a massive injury. A pulled hamstring happens when the yoga practitioner pulls their sole to the back of the head without proper guidance. Sadly, imitating a limber yogi on video does it a lot for unpractised people. One of the best ways to ease the soreness is through TENS unit for pain relief. Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) works well to ease localized pain through the use of gentle electric current applied to skin surface. You can control the amount of current used for pain relief.

3. A lower back damage happens when one does not maintain proper posture while doing forward and backward bends. A lower back support belt does the trick in keeping the back straight and supporting it in bending positions preventing strains and cushioning it when straightening up.

4. Rotator Cuff and other shoulder injuries happen when yoga poses such as the plank and the crocodile where the knees are off the floor and where the lower half of the body is unsupported except by the hand and shoulders. Ultrasound machine therapy (that delivers deep heat to the muscles and joints) can be used as pain relief for shoulder injuries.

5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendonitis and other wrist injuries happen when the wrists are used to carry the weight of the entire body, while the forearm is contracted over the wrist, such as in the downward dog pose, crow pose, the plank or chaturanga. Tiny tears can happen in the muscles and ligaments from repeated practice. Abrupt execution of these poses can also result in a sprained wrist. As the weight of the body is shifted to the hands partly or fully, the wrist becomes vulnerable even to a slip of the hands on the mat.

6. Elbow injuries. Elbow is a very important link in the shoulder to wrist chain of alignment. When the wrist is supporting the weight of your body, so are the elbow and the shoulder. Examples of yoga poses are side plank and chaturanga (lower push-up position).An elbow support, such as an elbow sleeve, forearm wrap, or arm sling, may help rest your elbow joint. They can also relieve stress on your forearm muscles and protect your joints during daily activities. As well as these orthopedic devices, you can significantly speed up injury recovery and healing by gently massaging inflamed areas with a natural topical pain reliever, which will reduce any swelling and joint discomfort while encouraging blood flow.

7. Neck Injuries. When a practitioner overdoes poses that do not support the head, neck problems are bound to happen. The shoulder stand, the plow and the headstand should not be done on tight muscles and without supervision from an expert.

Often, yoga injuries can be healed by yoga when done properly and gently.  Certain postures, such as ones where the knee is extended and held rigid, need not be followed to the letter when there is pain. Bending the knees a bit, while doing forward seating body bends can enhance knee pain relief and reduce swelling in the joints to allow them to recover. Oral medications take time to take effect, and topical creams can often relieve pain faster. A natural pain relief cream such as Relievium made from all organic ingredients can help the pain and soreness before and after yoga sessions. This topical remedy penetrates deeply into muscles and joints for fast and efficient alleviation of pain, inflammation and discomfort.

Remember, the true goal of yoga exercises is to prepare the mind for meditation. Meditation is geared towards finding your unity with the rest of the Universe. Do not be afraid to explore but do so for this purpose while taking good care of your body. Yoga calls for fluidity in movements as we unite mind, body and spirit.