Not-So-Hot Yoga: Beware the Perils of Preposterous Postures!


ver the last several decades, thanks in large part to a new level.

The Myth of Harmlessness

Many assume that because yoga postures lack velocity and momentum, they pose no risk to any physical activity, their absence does not necessarily make the practice of yoga risk-free. In fact, injuries are as common in yoga as they are in any other sport or fitness activity. Some common yoga injuries include:

● Injuries to the cervical spine from headstands and shoulder stands.
● Spinal injuries from back-bending postures like lotus, bridge, cobra, updog and camel.
● Sciatic nerve pressure from heel-sitting postures.
● Other injuries to the hips, ribs, ankles and wrists and hamstrings.

Why the Upswing in Injuries?

The upswing in yoga-related injuries no doubt correlates with its rising popularity. As yoga becomes more mainstream, it is attracting more students of low to doing yoga:

● Core muscles that protect the spine and provide stability are weak, putting the vertebra at risk for injury.
● Overweight students are often to the body’s structures and raising the center of gravity.
● Sedentary lifestyle behaviors that involve long hours of sitting in a chair create imbalances in muscle tension throughout the body, with some muscles too tight, setting you up for strains and sprains.
● Unfit populations often have metabolic disorders like hypertension and diabetes, putting them at risk for falls and dizziness during yoga.

In addition to the point of injury.

Tips for Avoiding Yoga Injuries

Before enrolling in a yoga class, there are a few things you should do to prepare yourself:

● Begin a general fitness program of cardio and resistance training to start.
● Focus on core strengthening exercises to stabilize your trunk and protect your spine.
● Begin the practice of yoga with a non-competitive mindset. Yoga is all about self improvement. Tune into its messages, and tune out other students.
● Shop around for instructors. Find someone who understands your needs as a beginner and does not promote competition among students.
● Do not force yourself into show modifications for challenging poses.

If you do sustain a yoga injury, seek professional intervention with a physical therapist. PT can help you heal, and can teach you to improve your personal fitness in ways that pose no risk for injury.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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