Generally speaking, yoga can be good for some hip surgery patients and not so good for others.  On the plus side, yoga can be very relaxing, loosen up muscles, and increase flexibility. Furthermore, if yoga poses are done correctly some hip pain might be relieved, especially if the hip joint is tight or sore. Yoga can also strengthen and stretch muscles that are important in supporting aching joints. Certain movements done in yoga help strengthen the small muscles that are used to stabilize the hip joint.  And, by performing yoga you will stretch the muscles which results in a better range of motion, making your hip joint more accessible for use and often decreasing the risk of injury. Finally, yoga can open up the joints in your hip, which better spreads the loads across your body.

On the other hand, there are many potential risks in performing yoga exercises to decrease pain. Yoga can be bad for the hip joint because it is an easy joint to overexert, which could cause or worsen an injury. If someone does a yoga pose and reaches the point of hyperflexion (particularly with rotation) without support or muscle flexibility, it can cause wear and tear on joints. In this case, efforts to perform yoga to decrease the pain of an injury can actually be making it worse.

You need to be extremely careful when performing yoga and know what you can and cannot handle. Know when to stop. Error on the side of caution.  It’s better to stop than to keep going and hurt the area that you are trying to heal.

While we can speak in generalities we must also acknowledge that everybody is different. Some folks benefit from yoga while others may not and may actually worsen their injuries. Not everyone is the same, so listen to your body and stop when your body is telling you to. Perform to your level of comfort. If you feel pain, stop immediately. Monitor your own body to make sure you are not feeling any discomfort.

When it comes to yoga, less can definitely be more!