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  • APTA Responds to the New York Times Article on Yoga and Orthopedic Problems

    In a letter to the editor concerning a recent New York Times article titled "Ancient Moves for Orthopedic Problems," APTA argues that it is not always appropriate to prescribe one form of exercise, such as yoga, for a specific condition. Relevant factors such as preexisting conditions or work demands need to be taken into account, the association says.

    "Although self-care and independent home programs are goals of physical therapist treatment," APTA says, "a personalized, 'hands-on' treatment approach is often necessary to relieve pain and restore movement to the level where self-management is possible."


    • Yoga is not "one form of exercise" Emilio, rather it is a practical biopsychosocial model of health with a burgeoning list of remarkable evidence for improving health. Check out the upcoming Research conference and the pedigree of presenters: http://sytar.org/SYR2011/SYR20​11_Faculty.aspx Don't confuse Yoga therapy with Susie the yoga teacher at the Y. Respectfully, the past president of http://www.iayt.org and frequent state and national APTA presenter, member: Ortho and PPS.

      Posted by Matthew J Taylor, PT, PhD, RYT on 8/10/2011 8:00 PM

    • Emilio...Yoga Therapy isn't a stretching class at the Y. It's a practical biopsychosocial model of health that is rapidly developing evidence that takes a history, addresses work demands/health history and affordable and accessible. Please see the upcoming research symposium and familiarize yourself with this new profession http://sytar.org/SYR2011/SYR2011_Program.aspx Respectfully, Matt, past pres of www.iayt.org; Ortho and PPS member of apta

      Posted by Matthew J Taylor, PT, PhD, RYT on 8/10/2011 11:43 PM

    • I have been practicing yoga for 10 years and find it extraordinarily helpful in many ways, including the eradication of some joint pain. It also alleviates some of the stress and psychological ramifications of being in a state of pain. However, I am in complete agreement with the author of the News Now Staff. I have been personal training for seven years and have worked with many chronic pain clients. Each person has a different unique set of problems with different genetics considering their musculoskeletal condition and responses to various "form of exercise". It is important to consider the amount of stretch reflex and response in a patient. Yoga can exacerbate problems if the session is not monitered. As well the specificity of yoga in terms of strengthening less active muscles cannot compare to the isolated joint exercises or functional exercises to retrain muscle activity.

      Posted by Geneviéve on 8/11/2011 11:48 AM

    • It is important for the APTA to continue to educate consumers in this area. I'm glad to see this editorial.

      Posted by Jennifer Robbins -> >LTc=I on 8/12/2011 7:43 AM

    • Thank you! I winced at the assertion that osteoporosis and osteopenia are rare among yoga practitioners, among other unsupported claims. Part of we do as physical therapists is help our patients make informed choices about exericses and movements at home, in the gym, or an exercise class.

      Posted by Nancy Abodeely on 8/13/2011 3:02 AM

    • As someone who has gone through physical therapy myself, I find Yoga a wonderful balance in my life. I loved it so much that I became a certified yoga teacher. I feel that before anyone recommends yoga to a client, be sure you know who you are referring them to. Meet with some yoga teachers and see their work in action; there are many forms of yoga and some may not work for certain people.

      Posted by Vicky Seff on 8/14/2011 1:02 PM

    • As a physical therapist and practitioner of yoga for more than 30 years, I am very particular about which yoga class and which instructor I recommend for each of my patients post rehab. For example: Many yoga practitioners incorporate too much forward flexion in practice and not enough extension causing problems for back pain patients. Yoga is a great form of balancing mind, body and health but it is essential for the practitioner recommending yoga to conduct a full musculoskeletal evaluation and to be aware of the particular style of yoga and the teacher being recommended to a patient before making the recommendation.

      Posted by Melinda Halford, PT, CLT on 8/14/2011 2:12 PM

    • I read this article first on the IAYT Facebook page and then several patients brought it in, asking if this would be appropriate for them. I must admit I didn't care for the article at first. I am both a physical therapist and a yoga therapist. I feel that yoga can be immensely therapeutic if provided in a diagnostic manner, considering the biopsychosocial (as Matthew puts it) model, considering all aspects of the patient/client, not just the physical. I did not particularly like the fact that the article seemed to suggest that this one pose was all that anyone needs to heal rotator cuff pathology. As a PT, I know that physical therapy can be very helpful. In my practice, I use a combination of yoga and PT. But like any healing process, it takes time and dedication, no matter what the means or modality.

      Posted by Tianna Meriage Reiter, DPT, PYT on 8/16/2011 12:45 AM

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