Elbow Pain and Vinyasa Yoga

Regular Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga practice can cause elbow pain at one or both sides of elbows or clicking sounds as the elbow is straightened, or locking of the joint. Some pain is caused by damage to ligaments or joints but elbow pain can be caused by unbalanced muscle function of the shoulder at the Glenohumeral* and the Scapulothoracic** joints and sometimes improves with corrective exercise that balances the muscles at these joints. Continue reading

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Muscle Imbalance in Yoga

The term ‘muscle imbalance’ is used by physical therapists when referring to incorrect muscle function that causes pain at the joints or problems with posture and body alignment.  Muscle imbalance is often difficult to diagnose and treat because a lot of pain experienced is referred pain. Continue reading

Yoga As Exercise

Yoga has many health benefits, but there is a growing trend of yoga-related physical injuries and many physical therapists view yoga negatively. Unfortunately, these concerns are well justified. A lot of myth surrounds yoga asana practice: many people believe that asanas can somehow heal anything wrong with the body. Claims that regular muscle or joint pain from yoga practice is some kind of ‘opening’ or ‘healing’ should be treated with suspicion. Continue reading

‘Yoga Butt’ Injury

‘Yoga Butt’ is a term for a range of symptoms frequently experienced in Ashtanga and other forms of Vinyasa or Power yoga after a few months of regular practice. It often starts as

  • Pain or discomfort at either of the Ischial Tuberosities (sit-bones)
  • Discomfort in all forward bending and a feeling that the hamstring won’t stretch
  • Inflexibility or pain in Kurmasana and Supta Konasana. Continue reading

Wrist Pain from Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa, arm balances and handstands often leave yoga practitioners complaining of wrist pain, especially at the Ulnar side of the hand, that is, the base of the palm furthest from the thumb. Continue reading

Winging Shoulder-blades From Vinyasa Practice

The Scapulae are held close to the chest wall by the Serratus Anterior muscle. When this muscle is weak, the shoulder blades will lift off of the back, giving the appearance of wings. When this occurs on one side only, it is usually as a result of injury to the shoulder or chest wall, or damage to the nerves in the neck and should be assessed and treated by a qualified professional. Continue reading

Clicking Shoulders and Elbows with Vinyasa-Yoga Practice

Sometimes yogis whose practise incorporates a lot of vinyasa complain of clicking sounds in the shoulders and elbows, and even a restriction of motion in the elbows in some positions. Other unpleasant shoulder symptoms can include a pinching sensation between the shoulder blades, near the base of the neck, especially when doing head or handstands, or tingling or numbness in the fingers. Continue reading