This low-impact sport can give you aches and sprains too. Learn to avoid them. By Estelle Low
Got a throbbing feeling in your lower back, sharp pain in your hamstrings, or dull ache in your wrist that doesn’t seem to go away? Like any other sport, yoga can lead to a host of injuries if not done properly.
Very often, these yoga injuries are a result of inadequate warm-up, pushing the body beyond its limit, locking or hyperextending joints, as well as ignoring pain signals, notes Anthony Liu, head of physiotherapy at Natural Healings. “Stop if you feel that you might be injured. Forcing your way through pain could lead to a more serious injury that will take longer to recover,” he says.
Here, Anthony tells us about the three most common yoga-related injuries, plus exercises to prevent them.
Prevent lower back injury. Photo: Mladen Mitrinovic / www.123rf.com
Yoga injury: Lower back pain
Yoga poses such as forward bend require the rounding of spine. “This rounding causes the spine to flex in the opposite direction of its natural position, increasing the pressure between spinal bones,” says Anthony. Another cause of lower back pain: Forcing stiff and tight muscles into a back-bending pose like wheel or locust.
Exercise to prevent lower back pain
Lie face up on a mat with one hand under lower back. Slowly push down on hand with lower back and hold for three seconds, breathing normally. Do three sets of 10 reps, increasing the holding time gradually.
Why it helps Pelvic tilts increase awareness of your spinal positioning, so you’re better able to maintain a neutral spine during yoga poses.
Next: Hamstring strain