Yoga is known to improve respiration, heart rate, metabolism and it reduces pain. Furthermore, it can make your body more flexible, stronger and can be an alternative therapy method for rehabilitation. However, if performed incorrectly, it can cause a lot of damage to your body.
Lower back and hamstrings are body parts which are the most prone to yoga injuries, but other body parts, such as neck, elbows, wrists, knees, hips, can also suffer significant damage caused by improperly performed yoga poses.
If you are experiencing any sort of pain while doing yoga, it is a warning sign from your body, which you should not ignore, although some yoga instructors encourage students to push through the pain.
How to Prevent Yoga Injuries
One of the ways of preventing yoga injuries is getting to know your body and its limitations. You can do a hamstring test,for instance, to see whether it is tight or flexible. Raise your leg upwards while keeping the foot slightly flexed, if your leg easily reaches straight up your hamstrings are normal, if it goes towards your face your hamstrings are very flexible and if your raised leg forms an angle smaller than 90 degrees your hamstring are tight.
This means that you should leave your ego at home before you go to a yoga session, get to know your body and realize that you cannot perform poses the same as people who practice yoga for years . If you overuse your muscles you can also hurt yourself, so you should take it easy.
The best way to prevent injuries is to consult a teacher with a yoga certification, any possible further injuries.
How to Treat Yoga Injuries
The first thing you should do is see a doctor. He will provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.There are several ways to treat an injury, depending on which part of the body suffered damage.
A sprained ankle, elbow or any other joint in your body is usually first treated with ice, which should be applied immediately to the sprain to reduce swelling and pain. It should be applied ten to fifteen minutes at a time, three to four times per day. You can use a wrapping to provide support and decrease swelling.
If you suffer from lower back pain, for example, you should try to improve blood circulation so that the blood can get to those muscles and heat them. As well as being helpful for many injuries, massage is an effective treatment of lower back pain. It relaxes the muscles and improves blood circulation, which is important for healing an injury. Another way of heating a muscle is applying a muscle lotion.
Rest is the most crucial part of the recovery process, especially if the injury is a sprain. If you sprained your wrist you should elevate your arm, this way you will direct blood flow to prevent swelling. You should also apply pressure to a sprained wrist to reduce swelling. This is usually done when applying ice to a sprain and after 48 hours you can use an athletic tape to apply light pressure to the injured area.
Before returning to normal activities, it is extremely important to rehabilitate an injury. This way you will make the injured area stronger than it was before. You should visit a physical therapist or look up exercises online. Some of these exercises may seem pointless, but if done properly and consistently, they will definitely be effective.
If the injury is feeling fine for a while it does not necessarily mean that it is healed. You should start from the beginning if it starts to hurt again.