A new study from Mayo Clinic has shown that people with thinning bones should avoid some spinal poses in yoga, because yoga postures may raise the risk of compression fractures.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become thinner and more porous from a loss of mineral content.
Bone loss that has not reached the stage of an osteoporosis diagnosis is called osteopenia.
Previously, scientists have reported injuries from yoga exercise.
In the present study, the researchers examined yoga injuries in people with osteoporosis and osteopenia. Both conditions are characterized by low bone density.
They checked the health records of 89 people referred to Mayo Clinic from 2006 to 2018. Some people were new to yoga. Others had practiced for years.
These people complained pain they attributed to their yoga practice. The pain occurred in the neck, back, shoulder, knee or hip.
The researchers found there were 12 yoga poses could bring health risks to people with osteoporosis.
Among the 12 yoga poses, the most common postures involved extreme flexing or extending of the spine. The postures put extra pressure on the vertebra and disks.
The researchers found the injuries included soft tissue injuries, joint injuries and bone injuries. Among them, there were 29 bone injuries.
The results suggest that as an exercise, yoga could bring many health benefits, such as improving balance, flexibility, and strength.
However, if people have bone diseases, they should modify yoga postures to accommodate their health condition.
This is especially important when people get older. Reviewing old exercise regimens could help prevent injuries. The first author is Melody Lee, M.D. from Mayo Clinic.
The study senior author is Mehrsheed Sinaki, M.D., a Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist.
The research is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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Further reading: Mayo Clinic Proceedings.