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Got Orthopedic Problems? Yoga Can Help


Did you know yoga can help fix common orthopedic problems? With the rising cost of medical care, it’s good to know there are affordable alternatives to which you can resort. One of them is the ancient practice of yoga. Today, some mainstream doctors are incorporating it into their practices.

Dr. Loren Fishman works as a physical and rehabilitative medicine specialist at the New York–Presbyterian/Columbia Hospital, and he is one of the few “renegades” in the medical profession that makes use of alternative treatment methods for orthopedic disorders. In addition to yoga, he treats his patients without the use of drugs or resorting to surgery.

One of his noted efforts was his nonsurgical treatment approach for piriformis syndrome – a crippling and painful condition that affects the lower back and legs, which is triggered by muscle spasm originating in the buttocks. In many cases, piriformis syndrome is erroneously diagnosed as a back problem, and patients often undergo surgery or protracted physical therapy without relief.

By formulating a simple diagnostic approach that combines the use of yoga exercise, physical therapy and injection treatment to break up the muscle spasm, Dr. Fishman was able to successfully relieve the pain in most of his patients.

A lifelong practitioner of toga, Dr. Fishman incorporates various toga positions to treat, heal, prevent or reverse the effects of orthopedic problems like scoliosis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Yoga also works well for people with bone diseases. While weight-bearing exercises can help, unfortunately not everyone can run, walk briskly or perform movements that put massive pressure on the knees or hips, which, in turn, can cause joint deterioration in the long run. Strength training, on the other hand, can likely cause fractures or worsen osteoporosis. These orthopedic problems rarely emerge as a result of yoga.

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