Yoga

Rating

Category: Life Style Options

Injury Type: Chronic

What is it?

Yoga originated in India over 2000 years ago. Yoga usually involves holding the body in a sequence of postures or asanas for a certain period of time, breathing exercises and meditation. These postures are done sequentially with the aim of increasing flexibility and strength. The breathing and meditation exercises are intended to calm and focus the mind and to develop greater awareness.

How does it work?

It is unclear exactly how yoga produces its healthful effects. Research suggests it may work like other mind-body therapies to reduce stress. While others believe that yoga promotes the release of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators) from the brain. Studies show yoga may lower your heart rate and blood pressure, increase muscle relaxation and increase breathing capacity. It may also promote muscle lengthening and strengthening and good posture.

Is it effective?

There are no studies assessing the effectiveness of yoga for whiplash. In a review of yoga research for low back pain and carpel tunnel syndrome, yoga was found to be safe and to significantly reduce pain in older adults.

Are there any disadvantages?

Some people may experience stiffness following yoga sessions, as their bodies adapt to different postures. Yoga may also lead to an injury if not practiced properly. It is important to practice yoga under the guidance of a trained professional, and seek advice from your treating practitioner prior to commencement.

Where do you get it?

Yoga teachers/classes are listed in the Yellow Pages.

Recommendations

The use of yoga following whiplash cannot be recommended because of a lack of scientific evidence. More research is required.

Key References

  • Morone, NE & Greco, CM 2007, 'Mind-Body Interventions for Chronic Pain in Older Adults: A Structured Review', Pain Medicine, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 359–375.
  • Riley, D 2004, 'Hatha yoga and the treatment of illness', Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine; vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 20–21.
Copyright © Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD)