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Clavicle Fracture in Yoga Practitioners: A Case Study

Yoga is a popular form of exercise and relaxation that has been practiced for centuries. It offers numerous physical and mental benefits, such as improved flexibility, strength, and stress reduction. However, like any physical activity, yoga carries the risk of injury. One common injury that can occur in yoga practitioners is a clavicle fracture. This article presents a case study on clavicle fractures in yoga practitioners, exploring the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention strategies.

Understanding Clavicle Fractures

A clavicle fracture, also known as a broken collarbone, is a common injury that affects the bone connecting the shoulder blade to the breastbone. It can occur due to various reasons, including trauma, falls, and sports injuries. In the case of yoga practitioners, clavicle fractures often result from incorrect alignment or excessive strain on the shoulders during yoga poses.

Yoga poses that involve weight-bearing on the upper extremities, such as handstands, arm balances, and inversions, can put significant stress on the clavicle. If the practitioner lacks proper strength, stability, or alignment, the clavicle may fracture under the pressure. Additionally, repetitive stress on the clavicle over time can also lead to stress fractures.

Case Study: Clavicle Fracture in a Yoga Practitioner

To illustrate the impact of clavicle fractures on yoga practitioners, let’s examine a case study:

Case Study: Sarah, a 35-year-old yoga practitioner, had been practicing yoga for several years. She was an intermediate-level practitioner and regularly attended advanced yoga classes. During a class, Sarah attempted a challenging arm balance pose without proper preparation and alignment. As she attempted to lift her body off the ground, she felt a sudden sharp pain in her right shoulder. She immediately stopped the pose and sought medical attention. After a thorough examination, it was determined that Sarah had suffered a clavicle fracture.

This case study highlights the importance of proper alignment, preparation, and gradual progression in yoga practice. It also emphasizes the need for practitioners to listen to their bodies and avoid pushing beyond their limits.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Clavicle fractures can cause various symptoms, including:

  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Difficulty moving the arm or shoulder
  • A visible deformity or bump at the fracture site

If a clavicle fracture is suspected, a medical professional will conduct a physical examination and may order imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, to confirm the diagnosis. It is crucial to seek medical attention promptly to ensure proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options

The treatment approach for clavicle fractures depends on various factors, including the severity and location of the fracture. In some cases, non-surgical treatment methods may be sufficient, while others may require surgical intervention. Common treatment options include:

  • Immobilization: For less severe fractures, immobilization with a sling or brace may be recommended to allow the bone to heal naturally.
  • Surgical intervention: In cases where the fracture is displaced or severe, surgery may be necessary to realign the bone and stabilize it with plates, screws, or pins.
  • Physical therapy: Once the fracture has healed, physical therapy may be recommended to restore strength, range of motion, and function to the affected shoulder.

It is essential to follow the recommended treatment plan and engage in rehabilitation exercises to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

Prevention Strategies

While it is impossible to eliminate the risk of clavicle fractures entirely, there are several strategies that yoga practitioners can employ to reduce the likelihood of injury:

  • Proper alignment: Focus on maintaining proper alignment in yoga poses, especially those that involve weight-bearing on the upper extremities. Seek guidance from experienced instructors to ensure correct form and technique.
  • Gradual progression: Avoid attempting advanced poses without proper preparation and progression. Gradually build strength, stability, and flexibility to reduce the risk of overloading the clavicle.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any discomfort or pain during yoga practice. If something doesn’t feel right, modify the pose or take a break. Pushing through pain can increase the risk of injury.
  • Strengthening exercises: Incorporate exercises that target the muscles supporting the clavicle, such as shoulder strengthening exercises, into your regular fitness routine.
  • Rest and recovery: Allow your body sufficient time to rest and recover between yoga sessions. Overtraining and inadequate recovery can increase the risk of injuries, including clavicle fractures.

By implementing these prevention strategies, yoga practitioners can minimize the risk of clavicle fractures and other yoga-related injuries.


Clavicle fractures can occur in yoga practitioners due to incorrect alignment, excessive strain, or repetitive stress on the shoulders during yoga poses. It is crucial for practitioners to prioritize proper alignment, gradual progression, and listening to their bodies to reduce the risk of injury. If a clavicle fracture does occur, prompt medical attention and appropriate treatment are essential for optimal healing. By following prevention strategies and practicing yoga mindfully, practitioners can enjoy the numerous benefits of yoga while minimizing the risk of clavicle fractures and other injuries.

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