A New Study Suggests a Steep Rise in Yoga Injuries!
A 2018 study in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine found that yoga injuries have increased quite a bit, particularly in the golden age population. In fact, yoga injuries have become almost twice as common in 2014 as they were in 2001, resulting in 29,590 yoga-related injuries seen in the emergency room over this 14-year period.
The study attributes this increase to a number of interacting factors including the rise in media attention devoted to advanced asana, the types of classes studios offer, beginner or level one students attending classes above their skill level, and a lack of teaching experience and anatomical knowledge on the part of the instructor.
For golden age or injured populations, it is hypothesized that declines in mobility and flexibility due to old age or injury coupled with attending classes not suited to their body’s needs may be at fault. Researchers noted that many people receive referrals to yoga from physical therapists who may not be able to distinguish the many nuanced practices the world of yoga offers, and thus, people end up in classes with the potential to harm instead of help.
With so many interacting factors contributing to yoga injuries, it is important not only as a practitioner but as an instructor to be informed enough to offer a practice which brings health to every student and minimizes the potential for harm.
Swain, T. A., & McGwin, G. (2016). Yoga-related injuries in the United States from 2001 to 2014. Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 4(11), 2325967116671703. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5117171/
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