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yoga therapy for elbows

connie2010-07-04 19:40:43 +0000 #1
I am a yoga teacher and have a student with elbow challenges. He is a baseball pitching coach and has over-used his elbows. He has challenges with cattaranga and other poses that stress the elbows. Do you have any suggestions for strengthening the elbows and also how to modify the most common poses for him? He loves yoga and I want him to make it a permanent part of his life, but to do it in a safe and healthy way. Thank you in advance for all suggestions and advice.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 19:54:55 +0000 #2
Hello Connie,

Obviously the elbows are a joint and not a muscle therefore strengthening the joint is a bit of a misnomer. If your pitching coach has over stretched connective tissue in that joint (or any other) then the joint itself becomes less stable.

Since you say "challenges" twice I presume you are using that word for a reason. However it does not convey anything specific enough (to me) to provide you a reply. I'd like to know if the student has pain, in what poses, where, and what is the nature of the pain, its duration, and what aggravates and eases it.

Unfortunately, in some practices, Chaturanga Dandasana is done over and over and over again. For adolescent boys this is bearable. For most adults over 30 it is not very wise. It places undue strain on five small muscles - infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. Together these muscles comprise the rotator cuff. While that is not in the elbow (obviously) the energy in poses that rely on weight-bearing by the upper extremities must transfer into one of the joints - the wrist, the elbow or the shoulder.

Furthermore, as the pose is done over and over and over, most students lose whatever alignment and integrity the pose may have initially had - presuming they've been taught such things. The pose therefore deteriorates over time. When it deteriorates the benefits are radically outweighed by the risks.

If you list the poses you reference as "most common" then I would surely contribute to modifications for them, as I am certain others would too.
David2010-07-04 20:15:55 +0000 #3
Hi Connie,

I know all too well how destructive throwing a ball is to the arm.



However, you mentioned, "elbowS" which makes me wonder about the main culprit here. Anyway, you MAY be able to gain some insight in this thread: www.yogaforums.com/f...n-down-dog-3830.html .

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