Yoga is a form of exercise that has existed for over 5,000 years, and there are many different types of yoga. In recent years it has become quite popular, especially in the West, as a form of exercise that tones muscles while relieving stress. Yoga can provide an excellent opportunity to slow down and center your mind while simultaneously strengthening your body.
When you have hip pain, you might be thinking that yoga’s emphasis on stretching and strengthening could help improve your hips. However, it is essential to be very careful in your practice of yoga. Otherwise, you risk worsening your hip pain instead of relieving it.
Dr. Joshua D. Harris is a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon with a medical practice in Houston, Texas. Dr. Harris has specialized advanced training in arthroscopic surgery and sports medicine and is a leader in hip preservation research. Dr. Harris provides diagnoses and cutting edge treatments for patients suffering from a variety of joint and muscle injuries and conditions.
What causes hip pain?
Hip pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions and injuries that affect the hip socket, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. These include, but are not limited to:
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
The only way to be sure what’s causing your hip pain is to get it checked out and diagnosed by a skilled orthopedist.
Could yoga be bad for hip pain?
Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on moving your body into certain prescribed poses, some of which can be challenging to master. People vary in their degree of flexibility and ability to safely move their bodies into and hold these positions. Especially with age, range of motion can decrease, making it more challenging to participate in activities such as yoga that require high flexibility.
Forcing yourself into positions that are not typical for you can cause injury to your hips and other parts of your body. Although you may see your teacher or other students able to achieve these positions, you may not be able to do the same. Pushing your body too hard can result in damage and injuries. Positions that may cause or worsen hip pain include those with deep hip flexion and rotation.
How can I avoid hip pain in yoga?
In yoga, it’s vital to listen to your body and act on what it’s telling you. If you feel some stiffness in your joints or muscles, it is usually safe to gently stretch out that stiffness and push through. However, if you feel pain, it’s a sign that you should stop what you are doing to avoid injury and pain. You should not forcefully and aggressively push the motion where it does not appear to want to go - “no pain, no gain” does not apply here!
Know your own body, your limits, and your experience. Just because a particular yoga position is prescribed doesn’t mean that you must be able to do it. You can ask your yoga teacher to provide you with modified positions that you can do comfortably and safely.
Although yoga is an excellent form of exercise that can help strengthen your muscles and calm your mind, you must practice it carefully. Pushing your body past its normal range of motion can worsen your hip pain and possibly lead to injury.
If you are experiencing hip pain, make an appointment with Dr. Joshua D. Harris today by calling our office or using our handy online scheduling system.