Guest post: Yoga poses to Prevent Knee Pain

Today's blog post comes our way from Maria Rainier. Maria is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, playing with the newly revealed degree value calculator and researching which engineering degrees pay best. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop. Her last name is also a delicious variety of cherry. I hope you enjoy her article like I enjoy cherries. 

Yoga Poses to Prevent Knee Pain

 Many people who do yoga are athletes in some other respect—most often runners.  With runner’s high often comes runner’s knee, but this is something yoga can ease.

Many athletes know the agony that accompanies Ilitotibial band syndrome (ITBS), a condition that involves the tough tissue that runs down from your hip along the knee bone and shin.  Although previous theories involved rubbing of this band against the knee causing pain, recent research suggests that the pain is caused by pressure from the IT band on a fatty tissue by the knee joint.  This explains why most runners experience pain just above the knee joint and some (a minority, research of which is sorely lacking) at the hip.

Although runners may experience “yogic high” through strenuous styles like Ashtanga or Vinyasa, slower and more therapeutic styles like Iyengar and Anusara may be more beneficial for runners, cyclists, and other athletes experiencing pain.  Strenuous styles may promote moving in the same patterns that caused the pain in the first place. 

Those currently practicing yoga can do the poses below to prevent pain caused by ITBS.  These poses strengthen the legs and gluteus maximus, where much of the pain-related tension is connected.  Remember, though, that pain is a message to take it easy.  Consult your doctor or a physical therapist if you suspect that you have ITBS before considering yoga your medicine.  Overdoing these poses may inflict more harm than good, but moderation may spell a release from ITBS-related pain.
  • ·         Outer hamstring twist
  • ·         Outer thigh twist
  • ·         Cow face forward fold
  • ·         Square
  • ·         Pigeon
  • ·         Half lord of the fishes twist
  • ·         Cross-legged reclining twist
  • ·         Frog legged pose
  • ·         Tree
  • ·         Warrior III
Try to focus on poses that emphasize standing balance that will strengthen ligaments and tissues around your knee so it remains stabilized and in place.  Props can also provide extra stretching in seated cross-legged poses without causing strain in the knees.

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