Are you injured or just getting used to yoga?

Yoga stretches your joints and tendons, and it challenges your muscles. It is no surprise that it causes some pain, but not all pain is indicative of an injury. Some pain is simply the body getting used to holding new positions, bending in new ways and getting deeper into stretches. However, it is important to know when to slow down your routine and contact a professional.

Sudden, Sharp Pain

Yoga will produce dull aches and even a few brief sharp pains as the body eases into it. However, a very sharp and sudden pain usually means something has been taken to the limit or too far. If backing off and avoiding that particular pose makes the pain stop, it may resolve on its own with a little bit of rest. However, if the pain lingers or returns, it may be time to have it checked out.

Pain Accompanied By Swelling

Swelling is often an indication of injury. There should be no swelling associated with a healthy practice. If an area suffers trauma, overextension or overuse during the practice and begins to swell, start RICE treatment and contact a health professional. Do not continue to practice on the swollen area. If you have problems with your joints, you should consider seeing a specialist like those at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates.

Hot Spots

When there is pain present and the skin is warm to the touch in that area, it may indicate that there is an injury. Serious conditions like tendonitis cause the skin to warm up in the location of the injury.

Bruising

The typical aches and pains of starting a new activity do not cause bruising. Of course, a knee coming down on the mat hard or a tip over from headstand could cause bruising, but bruising without a bump or fall means something is definitely hurt.

Persistence

The ache of a new yoga practice should wear off after a few days. It’ll wax and wane over time, but it will never linger the way pain from an injury does. If an area hurts and it is not going away with rest and time, it needs to be looked at.

Yogis are prone to overuse injuries in areas like the hips, wrists and hamstrings. Ignoring problems that arise from doing yoga will not result in a tougher body. It will mean less progress on the mat or even having to take a break for a prolonged period. Getting prompt treatment can mean shorter recovery time and more time practicing asanas.