I have been reading this forum for some time and have just recently decided to join the community. Thanks for everything you've given me already - I hope I can contribute in some meaningful way.
Anyways, I just want to know if anyone has experience supplement their injury treatment with yoga. Obviously I would avoid the heavy Vinyasa classes if they are inflaming my impingement, but I've found so far that the lengthening and chest/shoulder openers have really helped my posture and pain day-to-day. However, I've read some studies about the risks of stretching without strengthening, and I just generally don't want to muddle to work my physio is doing.
I know this is a tricky question to answer without being me in my situation, so I'd be happy to hear replies from people who have had success or struggles working with Yoga with arm injuries.
Post by Andrew Hutchinson, DPT, SCS on Sept 13, 2016 21:17:55 GMT -6
Johnathan, I'm a sports PT in Birmingham and may be able to provide some advice on supplementing your current injury treatment with yoga. For starters, you must look into the differences of yoga styles and determine the appropriate style for your goals (Bikram, Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, etc); each of these have different principles, goals, and "pro's/con's" for an athlete. With regards to shoulder impingement and baseball athletes, it is common for specific structures to become tight/restricted (Ex. pectorals major/minor, latissimus dorsi), while others become weakened and demonstrate impaired activation (Ex. posterior rotator cuff, scapular stabilizing musculature). A successful therapy program (or any exercise program to improve performance) must focus on improving the flexibility/length/mobility of tight and restricted structures while also improving strength/activation of the weakened/impaired musculature. While I do not perform yoga in the clinic, I will incorporate some the principles and encourage my patients to incorporate the positive aspects into their programs. Yoga is one of many types of exercise/activity that can assist with improving an athlete's performance. The key is to focus on a combination of both improving flexibility and strength of the appropriate muscles. A proper yoga program will address mobility restrictions that will improve your specific performance (i.e. depending on your hand dominance, specific rotation patterns-L vs R- will prove to be more beneficial at improving hitting/throwing). In addition to the strength aspect, focus must be made on proper mechanics with throwing/running/hitting to maximize the athlete's performance. I hope this provides some help and insight.