I'm a 48 year old female, and was diagnosed with bursitis of the hip 8 years ago. I've had cortisone injections, but the pain keeps returning. I've started doing yoga the past few months, and it seems to help some. Will I be able to "work through" this pain? Will enough of the right stretches make it stop hurting?
Bear in mind, as you read my reply, that I am not a medical practitioner and therefore ask that you not misconstrue my feedback for medical advice. Instead I will offer you the view of Purna Yoga™, the yoga in which I practice, train, and teach. Then, you can process that as you see fit.
In yoga therapy those things ending with "itis" mandates rest. You will of course be able to work through this but it may require you redefine "work".
The hip lives in compression and so our physical work in asana is to apply gentle traction to the joint and pay careful attention to what the student is feeling as well as any muscle imbalances presented. Unfortunately things that interfere with pain receptors (meds and cortisone) greatly diminish the efficacy of yoga as the student cannot really feel what is going on in their body.
I would suggest finding a well trained yoga teacher who has skills in yoga therapy and can thus guide you toward appropriate changes in nutrition, lifestyle, and asana as well as teach you meditation techniques to facilitate the healing process.
One downside to Yoga is that sometimes your core can get out of balance. A lot of people become quad dominant not realizing they are very weak in their hamstrings and glutes. This causes hip and lower back pain. Try adding a lot of bridge work to your practice and ask your teacher to suggest some techniques to help strengthen glutes and hamstrings. Pilates will help significantly in that area.
I do have a hip condition that prohibits many yoga poses (favorites) such as triangle, warrior, child's pose and many other hip openers due to a bone malformation. I had to switch to Pilates for a while until surgery. Don't ever "work through" a pain that feels wrong. If you practice Yoga, you've probably learned to tune into to your body. It will tell you and your instinct will know. Dangerous pain feels different than "good pain".
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