Reducing risk of yoga-related injuries
RESEARCHERS in the US have found that although injuries in yoga are not very common, older participants should take extra care and everyone should find a qualified instructor in order to reduce the risk.
Carried out by a team from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the study is the first large-scale examination of yoga-related injuries.
The practice is becoming increasingly popular in America, with the Yoga in America Study, commissioned by the Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, reporting that 36.7 million Americans now participate in yoga.
For their study, the researchers looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, compiled from 2001 and 2014.
The team found 29,590 yogarelated injuries during the study period. Nearly half (46.6%) were injuries to the trunk, with sprains or strains accounting for 45% of all injuries.
They also found that the overall rate of yoga-related injuries has increased in recent years, up from 10 per 100,000 in 2001 to 17 per 100,000 participants in 2014.
As expected, the injury rate also increased as the age of the participants increased.
Those between 18 and 44 years of age had an injury rate of 12 per 100,000, those age 45 to 64 saw an injury rate of 18 per 100,000, and those age 65 and above had the highest injury rate of 58 per 100,000.
Commenting on the reason for the findings, first author of the study Thomas Swain said: “We did find that the injury rate is increasing over time, which may be a reflection of the increase in popularity of yoga, leading to an increase in inexperienced participants who do not take the necessary precautions to avoid injury.”
The authors advise that as with other sport, those interested in practising yoga should seek medical advice from their physician first to check that they are physically capable and in good health.
A qualified, certified yoga instructor can help you with that assessment which is essential to a safe experience. – AFP-Relaxnews