Yoga Under Fire

As a chiropractor treating back and neck pain in St George, I am sensitive to the criticism that my profession receives at the hands of main stream medical-politics.  It seems that we can’t go a few months without reading a news article about how chiropractic is dangerous and ought to be avoided.   Of course, the heading is something like “Chiropractic Care Dangerous.”  Only upon reading the full article does one learn the veiled truth that one particular chiropractic maneuver injured an individual.  The extrapolation espoused by the yellow-journalists is that all chiropractic maneuvers for all conditions must be equally dangerous.   Of course the facts presented in yellow-journalism are selected carefully in order to support the author’s prejudices.

Proper Wheel Form

The Wheel position is correctly demonstrated here. Note the head is off the ground and in a relatively neutral position relative to the shoulders. If done incorrectly, this position can damage the cervical spine.

Today, I was scanning some older news articles and found that yoga is a target as well.  A story in the New York Times took issue with modern yoga, claiming that it was dangerous for participants.  The author claims that yoga is causing strokes (just like the ones chiropractors notoriously cause) and disc injuries (just like the ones chiropractors notoriously cause).  There is some small elements of truth in what the author claims.  Some overly ambitious individuals go beyond the mark and over-stretch their yoga poses and suffer some injury.

I want to defend yoga in spite of the Times article.  I am a huge fan of yoga when it is properly applied.  Far more people are receiving benefit from yoga’s proper application than what we are lead to believe from the article.  It is unprofessional to cite a few anecdotal cases and claim there is an epidemic of injury. Especially when those cases involve people going beyond the mark.

People get hurt in all aspects of life.  I have had close friends drop dead while jogging.  Do we start warning people to stop jogging?  I have known people who have died on the operating table during ‘routine’ surgery.  Do start warning people to avoid all surgeries?

For the record, yoga is beneficial.  There are great research articles which highlight and prove that it can help with joint pain as well as respiratory issues.

If a person wants to engage in yoga and some of the poses cause pain, they should cease the painful poses immediately then come in for a chiropractic consultation.  Chiropractors focus on the joints of the body.  We help to restore proper structure, function, and alignment.




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