26 November 2013

Practising yoga with injuries. No pain, no gain?

I am out of action at the moment. I have a hip impingement which has been going on for a quite a while. I've seen all the great and good in the London hip scene (pardon the pun) and have continued my yoga practice the best I can whilst working around the injury site and not taking myself into a point of pain. A recent stint which had me sat at a computer for more hours than I care to count has aggravated the impingement and the steroid injection I had in August has started to wear off.

One of the problems I now have is pain and inflammation causes muscle inhibition. As I currently have pain,  I have been advised to rest to see if the pain subsides. Continuing to work through the pain inhibits the muscles around the injury site and stops them from working efficiently; therefore doing more damage than good. Once I  am relatively pain free, I will work the muscles (in this case the glutes and other core stabilisers) in isolation to try and gain back the strength that has been  lost around the pain site. So the old saying "no pain, no gain" definitely does not apply to injuries. It might be worth remembering this if you are practising with pain and inflammation, as you may be adding to the problem.


  1. It's really hard to judge when it's right to start practising again though. There seem to be a lot of false dawns and just when you think things are improving it bites. The effects of your injections have lasted a lot longer than mine

  2. I agree its hard to judge when to go back to practising again. I think the injections either work or don't and 3 months + is quite a common time frame to see symptoms return. In my case impingement is not going to go away or completely recover so I have to find a way to manage it.

  3. My shoulder is screwed more from carrying my terminally 8 year old daughter than my Ashtanga Practice. I've always found rest to be the best healer which is what I learned years ago playing organized sports. When you play through injury you tend to do lasting re occurring damage. Once the initial healing stage has been moved through then I start my practice again. When I have an injury like i have now I look at it as a chance to really ramp up my meditation, mantra and pranayama practice; Injury is a gift this way.


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