Yoga has many advantages which include backache reduction, relieving stress and preventing risk of cancer and depression by reversing DNA. But researchers have cautioned that yoga can also cause injuries and even aggravate an existing injury.
A recent study has shown that yoga caused musculoskeletal pain in 10 people and worsened 21 percent of the existing injuries, specifically pre-existing musculoskeletal pain in the upper limbs.
The study advices that in terms of seriousness, more than one-third of cases of pain caused by yoga were grave enough to avert yoga participation and lasted three months or longer. Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia clarified that yoga participants should be advised to talk about the risks of injury and any pre-existing pain, especially in the upper limbs, with yoga teachers and physiotherapists to consider posture alterations that may result in safer practice.
Lead researcher Evangelos Pappas said that while yoga can be helpful for musculoskeletal pain, like any form of exercise, it can also result in musculoskeletal pain. The study revealed that most “new” yoga pain was in the upper extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand) most probably because of downward dog and like postures that put weight on the upper limbs.
However, 74 percent of participants in the study reported that existing pain was reduced by yoga, stressing the complicated relationship between musculoskeletal pain and yoga practice. These findings can be beneficial for clinicians and individuals to compare the risks of yoga with other forms of exercise thereby allowing them to make informed decisions about which types of activities are suited for them.