Yoga and Concussion

The Benefits Of Yoga When Recovering From A Concussion

By: Stacey VanSchyndel, PT, MScPT, BKin.

Many individuals with injuries that seek physiotherapy, including those suffering with concussions, could benefit from using relaxation strategies as part of their rehabilitation program.  Techniques including yoga, Qi Gong, guided mediation and mindfulness programs can play a large part towards your recovery. 

The benefits of yoga go beyond stretching and improving the length of your muscles.  If done properly, yoga can decrease stress and anxiety, improve your posture and body awareness, improve strength and circulation, decrease frustration, fear and anger and improve memory and recall.  Instead of going from one stretching posture to another, try to clear your mind when you practice yoga.  Take the time to breathe, relax and shut your mind off when going through your routines.   Try breathing easily, keeping your upper body quiet and lengthening your exhalation to really get the most from your practice.  Make sure you spend several minutes at the end of your practice in the Savasana pose as this final relaxation pose can really help you get the most from your session and start your day relaxed. 

When you are suffering from a concussion and not able to do physical activity, yoga can be a great way to keep your body moving.  Frequently following a concussion people are told to sit in a dark room and not to exert themselves.  While this may be true for the first 48 hours following a concussion, sitting in the dark and not moving for longer than this is just going to delay your recovery.  Finding the right kind of activity that allows movement without bringing on symptoms is important.  In addition to all the benefits listed above, yoga can help with neck stiffness and tension that is often associated with concussions.  Take your time.  Find movement that feels good and do not push into pain.  Beginning with some easy poses like child’s pose, cat cow and Savasana are a great starting point. 

For more information on how to use yoga following a concussion, or to enhance healing and decrease stress, anxiety and depression, please visit us at ProActive Rehab