People who practice yoga swear by it for helping with numerous maladies. The poses you do in a yoga stretch your muscles and can increase your range of motion. When practiced regularly, it will improve your flexibility. Overall, yoga seems to be good for improving health, relieving stress and helping with mental clarity. However, if you have a spine injury, will yoga help you or harm you?

Spine Injury and Yoga

There are a variety of causes for spine injury but only two main types: spondylolisthesis and cervical radiculopathy.

Spondylolisthesis and Yoga
Lower back pain is associated with spondylolisthesis. With this injury, you may also experience muscle tightness and stiffness, pain in the buttocks, and muscle weakness. The pain felt down the legs is also common. The causes of spondylolisthesis include birth defects, trauma, stress fractures, disease or infection.

Doing exercises for the back are often part of the treatment plan. There are yoga moves which may be good for spondylolisthesis. It is important to strengthen and improve the range of motion. When the abdomen, legs, and back are made stronger, those muscle groups can help alleviate some of the strain on the spine. Yoga is great for helping strengthen muscles and increasing range of motion. However, you need to speak with your yoga instructor or a yoga professional to make sure you are doing moves that will help your injured back, not make it worse. Not all yoga moves are good for spondylolisthesis.

Cervical Radiculopathy and Yoga
The other type of back injury is cervical radiculopathy. This can be caused by degenerative issues with the bones in the neck. It can also be caused by arthritis or any injury that puts pressure on the nerve roots. A ruptured disc is another cause; the material from the disc presses on the nerve root and results in discomfort.

Pain from this type of injury is felt in the neck, chest, arms, and shoulders. There may also be tingling in the arms or fingers and weakness. Coordination of the hands is sometimes affected.

There are certain yoga poses that can help relieve the pain from this type of spine injury, and certain poses to avoid. You definitely want to stay away from any movements that will add weight to your neck and head. Any poses that require headstands or shoulder stands should be avoided. A professional yoga practitioner can guide you in determining poses that will be beneficial and those to avoid.

Before doing any exercise, you should always check with your doctor first, particularly if you are under care for a spine injury. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations. If you are able to do some yoga moves or other exercises, start slow. Too much too soon can cause more problems.

Some spine injuries are a result of normal wear and tear, birth defects or other natural causes. Others, unfortunately, are injuries that could have been avoided. If your spine injury is due to the neglect or the action of others, you may have recourse to cover medical expenses associated with the injury. Contact the law firm of Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. We have caring attorneys who will walk you through every step and ensure that you are fairly compensated.