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Over 20 years worth of research by Duke University Medical Center confirmed that yoga is a good alternative to pills and other medications for treating body pains, including osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients saw great improvement in their muscle flexibility, strength and range of motion while reducing pain and discomfort.

Yoga promotes fluidity of motion that allows painful or swollen joints to glide smoothly against each other. This low-impact exercise also reduces muscle and joint tension. Cynthia Maltenfort adds, Yoga is a safe alternative to weight-bearing exercises that could worsen weak joints because it strengthens the muscles around them. Ms. Maltenfort is a yoga instructor at Sun and Moon Studios in Virginia.

Here are a few yoga poses that can help relieve pain and discomfort in your knee, back, hip, shoulders and elbows.

Cobra (for back pain): Lyn Burgess of Yoga from the Heart in Florida suggests this pose. Lie face-down while resting your forehead on the floor. Position your legs together with your hands to the side. Imitate the cobra by rising up using the strength of your back (not arms) to lift your chest and head.

Supported Warrior (for knee pain): Rachel Schaeffer of Yoga for Your Spiritual Muscles tells us to stand against the wall at an arm's-length distance. Place your hands on it at shoulder height. Make one step forward so your toes touch the wall. Take a step backward and slightly bend your knee toward the floor. Hold this position for ten breaths then slowly straighten your knee.

Butterfly (for hip pain): Annie Moyer of Sun and Moon recommends this pose. Sit on the floor with the soles together and the knees wide. Keep your back straight and shoulder relaxed. As you breathe, lower your knees to the floor.

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