Facebook Pixel

Osteoporosis and Yoga Positions to Avoid

Yoga has become a popular way for people to stay healthy. The combination of stretching, exercise, and improved core strength can prove to be beneficial to the body and the mind. However, a recent study reviewed individuals with osteoporosis and yoga positions they should avoid to prevent injury.

Osteoporosis and Yoga Positions to Avoid

Benefits of Yoga

Many people enjoy yoga as a form of exercise and stress relief. Benefits of yoga can include increased flexibility, balance, strength and more. Because of this, some doctors even recommend yoga for its health benefits.

How Does Yoga Help Back Pain?

Yoga helps stretch and strengthen muscles. Some muscles that are impacted by yoga are the core muscles, around the spine and abdomen. As these become stronger they support more of the body’s weight. This, in turn, takes stress and physical load off of the spine, easing back or neck pain.

Yoga Injuries

However, injuries associated with yoga have been reported. An article in 2016 found that the injuries most commonly associated with yoga were sprains or strains in the main part of the body (shoulder to hip area).

Interestingly, the study also found that individuals 65 years and older were at a greater risk for injury. In addition, older individuals experienced more bone fractures than younger individuals. The author suggested that reduced bone density could be a contributing factor to the increased injury rate.

Bone Mass Density

Individuals with reduced bone mass density (BMD) are said to have osteoporosis. The condition is commonly associated with individuals over 65 and is more common in women. The reduced bone density makes people with osteoporosis more susceptible to fractures of the vertebrae and other spine conditions.

Yoga Injuries and Osteoporosis

A recent article published by the Mayo Clinic indicated that certain yoga stretches and poses may be more dangerous for people with osteoporosis.

The article reviewed yoga related injuries. Two important findings from their study were:

  • individuals with osteoporosis are at a higher risk for yoga-related injury than those without osteoporosis
  • yoga poses that involve extreme spine positions are more likely to cause injury

Osteoporosis and Yoga Positions to Avoid

Yoga poses that were commonly associated with injury included the extreme forward bends (ie: Seated Forward Bend, Plough) and extreme back bends (ie: Bridge). Any position that causes your spine to bend too much in either direction should be avoided.

For individuals with neck or back pain, yoga can be a beneficial part of an ongoing treatment plan. Just as with stretching and exercising, the practice of yoga can help reduce the strain on your spine and the pain caused by it. However, as with any exercise plan, it’s important to consider all the factors before jumping in. This is especially true for individuals with osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor first, start slowly and listen to your body. Do this and yoga can become an effective part of your treatment plan.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery