She says her joints are "loose"

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kumarisky
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:45 am
Location: Wisonsin,US
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She says her joints are "loose"

Post by kumarisky »

Hi Bernie :)

I have a student in my yoga class who recently informed me that when she went to PT a few years ago for rotator cuff issues that the PT told her never to practice yoga because her joints are too loose. She has continued to practice yoga with me anyways(she just told me this info last week after class) and has not had any other problems with her joints.

I am wondering if you have ever heard of the term "loose joints" and if so, can you explain it in a bit more detail and expound on why perhaps her PT would recommend she give up on yoga?

Thanks so much!
Bernie
Posts: 1206
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Hypermobility

Post by Bernie »

Loose joints is an imprecise term generally applied to hypermobile joints. There are a lot of reasons that a person may have hypermobility in some or most joints: laxity of ligaments, shallow sockets, diseases of the fascia, a loss of muscle tone, the list can go on and on. Without knowing the cause of your student's hypermobility, I could not venture to guess what she should do. Nor do I know the physiotherapist who advised her against yoga and why that recommendation was made. She really should ask the physio for the rationale for that rather bold prescription.

One cause of hypermobility is laxity of the joint capsule. Often in these cases strengthening exercises are best, to help stiffen the tissues around the joint. If the ligaments or joint capsules are not stiff enough to constrain movement, stronger muscles may. Many yoga practices can help to build muscular strength around a joint. A physio in this case might rightly suggest to not try to stretch the joint in a yoga class, but we can also strengthen the muscles in yoga around the joint. In the case of a rotator cuff issue, often the prescription is a combination of mobilization and strengthening, with care that not too much stress or mobility is used. Again, yoga certainly can help in these cases.

Again, I can't not guess why her physio offered the advice he/she did - your student would have to go back and ask for more details. However, since you have been working with your student and she is not suffering any ill effects from what you are teaching her, it sounds like that is not necessary.

Cheers
Bernie
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