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Can Yoga Help Elbow Pain?
As it is one of the most utilized joints of the body, it is no surprise as the elbow is one of the most frequently injured areas of the body. The number of injuries possible to an elbow is countless; the bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the synovial capsule are all possible targets of injury, and these often result in prolonged pain in the joint. Practicing yoga can help relieve the pain associated with elbow injuries when it is practiced regularly and safely.
While yoga can benefit elbow pain, there is an issue that must be addressed first before a patient begins practicing. Unfortunately, elbow pain is also associated heavily with improper practice of yoga, so it must be practiced carefully, particularly if elbow pain is already a problem. When practicing yoga to benefit elbow or other joint pain, a doctor and a professional yoga instructor should both be consulted to receive the maximum therapeutic benefit that the art of yoga can provide.
In some cases using props and holding postures that don't put strain on the elbows is recommended. Pain associated with elbows can be alleviated by slow and gentle stretching of the muscles supporting the joint. Easing the pain through stretching is easy when the muscles are stretched to relieve tension, and the flexibility of the joint is improved as a result of this. Improved flexibility of the joint leads to decreased pain associated with motion, which is one of the leading causes of elbow pain in both children and adults.
Overcoming the pain through improved flexibility is not the only benefit that stretching provides to elbows. The muscles and tendons in the joints are strengthened through repeated stretching, which leads to a decreased risk of injury to these aspects of the joint. Practicing yoga that is non-weight-bearing is an ideal method of strengthening the muscles through the art of yoga; the most important stretches for elbow pain are those that focus on the arms and upper body, and while some may be weight-bearing, these can lead to further potential injury.
Some poses that are specifically beneficial for elbow pain include the mountain pose with interlocked fingers; a simple plank performed against the wall instead of on the floor, and basic arm and wrist rotations. Varying the exercises utilized can help prevent further injury, as there is not a prolonged stress effect on the joint. Elbow pain is a risk associated with practicing yoga, so therapeutic use of the exercises must be utilized cautiously.
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