Yoga Injuries: That Downward-Facing Dog Pose Can Hurt You
More and more people are turning to yoga to relieve painful musculoskeletal disorders like chronic back pain, often with good results. But a new study, the first to investigate injuries caused by participation in recreational yoga, suggests yoga injuries may be up to 10 times more common than previously thought.
Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia conducted the study, which was published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. They found that yoga causes musculoskeletal pain in 10 percent of people who practice it, and exacerbates 21 percent of existing injuries. The yoga injury rate is comparable to other sports-related injury rates in people who are physically active.
Most new yoga pain occurs in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands, and lasts longer than three months on average, but is usually not severe enough to prevent participation. The pain-relieving benefits of yoga were also confirmed by researchers: 74 percent of study participants reported yoga lessened pain.