The physical demands of the yoga practitioner are uniquely different from the general population who do not engage in similar activity. Likewise, physical therapy for this special population should not be given a conventional approach.
Yoga is a centuries old practice that has captured the attention of the Western world since the late 19th century. Since then, an array of styles and teachers have evolved and the practice of yoga has become more integrated in mainstream culture. The practice of yoga according to Patanjali’s Eight Branches of Yoga was developed in the second century where we first saw the inclusion of “asana” and “pranayama”, yoga postures and breathwork, respectively.
Although there are eight branches to yoga, the two branches we are most concerned with as physical therapists are in the physical postures and breath control. Yoga asanas as they were originally developed, however, did not have the demands of our modern lifestyles in mind. Unfortunately, in some physical practices of yoga as they exist currently, the physical abilities of the modern practitioner are not taken into consideration. Because the postures do not always line up with what our bodies need to meet the demands of our modern lifestyles, injuries can unfortunately occur.
For instance, if for 8 hours of the day, a person sits at a computer workstation where the shoulders are rounded, head is excessively forward, and wrists are flexed, the anterior core musculature has been largely in a shortened, ineffective position for much of the waking day. As a result, during yoga practice, the body will have difficulty maintaining core control and utilize other muscles and alignments to achieve a pose via the path of least resistance. However, the easiest path for the body is not always the safest or most effective one. Without informed cueing and muscle activation, the practitioner is put at risk of injury and will plateau in the physical practice.
• Core weakness
• Shoulder pain
• Hip pain
• Back pain
• Sacroiliac and hamstring injuries
• Impaired balance
• Neck pain
• Wrist pain
While these symptoms are common among yoga practitioners, they are not normal and should be addressed by a qualified healthcare provider. If this sounds like you, click here to get help now.
When you train at relatively high intensities as a yoga practitioner, you are placing more demands on your body in order to attain a specific level of fitness or performance. As with any physical activity that challenges you to push your boundaries, you are subject to an elevated risk of injury.
Injuries can occur due to factors such as poor training strategies, inadequate mobility and stability, or even bad luck training accidents. What is commonly overlooked is the true root cause of your pain or injury, which is often a lack of neuromuscular control.
The concept of neuromuscular control refers to your brain's capacity to turn on the right muscles, at the right time, and with the right amount of muscle strength and stability in order to produce a desired movement. The more complex or intense the movement performed, the higher degree of neuromuscular control required.
Many physical events (injury, surgery, pregnancy, etc.) can disrupt your brain's capacity to execute this program, a process known as neuromuscular de-activation. As a result, there is a tendency for your body to compensate (with less efficient movement patterns) to maintain the same current level of physical activity. Eventually, neuromuscular de-activation can lead to a vicious cycle of pain, muscle imbalance, and abnormal joint stress. You will often see a decline in fitness and performance until adequate neuromuscular control is restored.
Your body learns to move with its limitations. Our jobs and lifestyles dictate the length-tension relationship of our muscles. When those same muscles that are accustomed to moving in a shortened range are given increased demand to move during a yoga class, the brain is unprepared to meet the demand of the physical posture. This can result in excessive strain placed on soft tissue structures, compensatory movements and subsequent joint stress that eventually become an injury. Your body is an intelligent computer but often gets stuck in one way of thinking and moving. However, in movement we do not benefit from rigidity, but malleability. Rigidity manifests in neuromuscular deactivation, a loss of muscle control that impairs your ability to effectively stabilize joints through their ranges of motion.
Working with yoga practitioners is typically not a big part of a physical therapist’s education. It is an area of practice requiring further study and training following graduation.
Activcore physical therapists are uniquely qualified to assess and treat yoga-related injuries. With expertise in movement analysis and additional yoga training, our physical therapists break down yoga asanas and determine the underlying causes of movement abnormalities and pain. Apart from injuries, they are able to design a program geared toward helping you progress your practice in a safe, effective manner.
At Activcore, you will be matched with a physical therapist who specializes in treating yoga practitioners. Unlike the "typical" PT who probably doesn't even do yoga, you will have a specialist who knows exactly what you are going through.
Activcore physical therapists assess how you move as it relates to your active lifestyle. They apply a holistic approach to identify not only the site of injury, but the true source of any pain, weakness and dysfunction. Addressing the underlying cause is absolutely essential for healing an injury, preventing recurrence, and keeping you healthy and at a peak level of performance. The progression of your physical therapy treatments should be a reflection of the type of activity you are trying to get back to doing.
You will feel the Activcore difference from your first visit. This is a highly personalized experience delivered by a passionate movement expert fully dedicated to getting you back to the physical activities that you love. Once your pain has been addressed, you will have the opportunity to continue honing your movement through ongoing performance training at Activcore.
Learn about our 3-step recovery process for optimal movement health.
• Achilles strain / tear / tendinopathy
• AC joint repair surgery
• AC joint sprain / dislocation
• ACL tear / repair / reconstruction
• Ankle sprain
• Arthroscopic surgeries
• Bicep tendon surgery
• Biceps tendinitis / tendonitis
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Cervical radiculopathy
• Cervical spine dysfunction
• Cubital tunnel syndrome
• Decreased rotational mobility
• Deltoid bursitis
• Elbow instability
• Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI)
• Frozen shoulder
• Golfers elbow
• Groin strain
• Hamstring strain/tear
• Hip labral tear
• Hip trochanteric bursitis
• Impingement syndrome
• IT band syndrome
• Joint sprains
• Labral tears
• Labral surgery
• Lateral epicondylalgia / epicondylitis
• Ligament injuries
• Lumbar spine dysfunction
• Medial epicondylalgia / epicondylitis
• Meniscus tear / repair
• Muscle strains
• Neck pain
• Nerve injuries
• Patellar tendinopathy
• Patellofemoral syndrome
• Postural dysfunction
• Rotator cuff dysfunction
• Rotator cuff repair surgery
• Rotator cuff tears
• Rotator cuff tendinitis / tendonitis
• Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction
• Scapular dyskinesis
• Shoulder dislocation
• Shoulder (glenohumeral) instability
• Shoulder impingement
• Shoulder replacement surgery
• Shoulder subluxation
• SLAP repair surgery
• SLAP tears
• Sports injuries
• Subacromial bursitis
• Tendinitis / Tendonitis
• Tendon injuries
• Tennis elbow
• Thoracic outlet syndrome
• Thoracic spine dysfunction
• Tommy John surgery
• Ulnar collateral ligament injury
• Ulnar tunnel syndrome
"I had been trying to work my way through injury and pain for 2 years when I came upon Activcore. As I am sure many can relate I was stuck being bounced around from surgeons to specialists to physical therapists without relief and worsening of symptoms. Activcore's approach to correcting dysfunction is methodical. I came in not being able to practice yoga, which I had previously done several times per week. Now I'm not only able to do Yoga, but AcroYoga as well!"
— customer review