Are You Vulnerable to these Common Yoga Injuries?



People generally perceive yoga as a low-impact and “gentle” physical activity. But being gentle does not mean that it is entirely injury-free. This assumption causes people to be overconfident, making them ignorant of the fact that poor form can cause problems. We have already discussed in another blog-post about the pitfalls of lack of proper pose and alignment in yoga, and how AI can help us deal with this problem. In this post, we will talk about some common injuries caused by improper asana practice and propose solutions on how to avoid such injuries.


1.Neck Injuries


Why it happens

You are most prone to neck injuries while performing head-stand asanas like Sirsasana and shoulder-stand asanas like Sarvangasana. If you repeatedly perform these asanas incorrectly, you compress the neck putting pressure on the cervical spine. This can result in loss of neck flexion, joint issues, and chronic pain.


Solution

If your neck is sore after yoga, apply a cold compress to the area to reduce pain and discomfort. Practice head-stand and shoulder-stand asanas under the supervision of your instructor so that they can let you know if you are doing it wrong.


2.Hamstring Attachment Strain


If you practice yoga, you are especially prone to hamstring attachment issues compared to other physical activities. Hamstring strains can be mild, with little pain and a short recovery period or they can be severe.


A tiny area deep inside the bottom of the glutes where the tendon attaches to the sit bone, located at the top of the hamstring, can tear slightly because of overstretching. These tears can cause the tissue to build up making the tendon even tighter.


Hamstring attachment problems start because the hamstrings release and slack as we hinge forward. That can cause a sharp tug on the attachment’s tendon, resulting in a tear.


3.Wrist Injuries


Why it Happens

Wrist injuries are caused by incorrectly performing asanas like downward-facing dog, plank, side plank, Chaturanga, handstand, crow, and other arm balances.


Solution

You can modify the poses by placing your knees on the floor, this will prep you for difficult asanas by strengthening your wrists and shoulders. Keep your palms flat on the mat, don’t cup the floor. Don’t let your fingers turn inwards and don’t take shoulders too far forward past your wrists.


4.Lower Back Pain


Why it happens

One of the most common complaints among yoga practitioners is lower back pain. It happens because of rounding of the spine in asanas like a downward-facing dog which puts pressure on the discs and lower back muscles or keeping your knees straight or pushed back.


Solutions

Limit the number of twists you do if you already have lower back issues. Engage the core muscles as you exhale as this helps support the low back muscles. Bending the knees is important if you have a tendency to round the spine. Also, remember to soften the knees and use contraction of the upper thigh to stabilize your body while working through postures like Virabhadrasana II and Ardha Chandrasana.


5.Hip Injuries


Why it Happens

Yoga asanas that involve opening your hips or do significant hip rotation can cause too much mobility in the hip ligaments that are looser than average.


Hyperflexion occurs when a joint is flexed beyond its normal range of motion. If someone does a yoga pose and reaches the point of “hyperflexion” without support or muscle flexibility, it can cause wear and tear on joints


Solution

If you start feeling some hip pain while performing a particular pose, try finding alternative poses to ease the tension on your hips. You can also try to decrease your stance while performing an asana to avoid overstretching. Remember, you will slowly become more flexible with yoga by first performing relatively easy poses that prepare you for more difficult poses.


6.Knee Injuries


Why it Happens

Beginners are prone to knee pain even while doing basic asanas like the cross-legged position. Common reasons for knee issues are tight hips and preexisting injuries.


Solution

Never allow your knee to cave inward, as it puts pressure on the lower back and hips.



Injuries are a way of the body trying to tell us that we are either overstressing or doing it wrong. The essence of yoga is to build awareness and listen to the body before it comes to this point.