The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NY Podiatrists Discuss Two Common Yoga Foot Injuries

Posted by on Thursday, July 10th, 2014


This time of year, yoga is a hot commodity. New York City hosts a number of amazing outdoor yoga sessions that are irresistible for people who are looking to boost flexibility, enhance relaxation, and improve overall fitness. The benefits of yoga are undeniable… but, as with any type of exercise, there are risks to be aware of, as well. We have discussed this topic in our past article: “Is Yoga Dangerous For Your Feet?” One of our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Nadia Levy, discusses two specific types of yoga foot injuries she has seen a lot this summer.

toe injury yoga
Transitioning to the hero pose in yoga can overextend the toe, causing injury. Image Source:

Outdoor Yoga In NYC

Outdoor yoga in NYC is a popular trend. You can take free vinyasa classes at 8:30 am every Wednesday from June through August in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park. Or you can hit up Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan May 20th through September 18th, Tuesdays at 10 am or Thursdays at 6 pm. There are sunset asana classes on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Grange Farm for $15 well-spent, and free Kripalu yoga classes at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island. As you can see, there are limitless options for wellness in New York!

We recommend yoga for patients suffering from:

Bunion Growths

Arthritis Stiffness

Flat Feet Pain

Plantar Fasciitis

Weakness Associated With Old Age

“We have seen in our NYC foot patients that yoga is very popular, even among men,” explains Dr. Nadia Levy from The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine. “Indeed, this type of exercise is great for flexibility and muscle strengthening,” she adds. “However, I am seeing many sesamoid irritation and turf toe type injuries doing certain poses barefoot, when big toe joint motion is less-than-ideal.”

Sesamoid Irritation Yoga Injury

Sudden increases in activity can trigger inflammation in the tendons surrounding the foot’s sesamoids, two very small bones on the underside of the forefoot near the big toe. The main symptom is gradual pain development under the great toe on the ball of the feet. You can try taking aspirin or ibuprofen to see if it takes the edge off the pain, as well as icing and resting the feet. Sports medicine doctors can give you a diagnosis, in addition to a special stiff-soled shoe, J-shaped pad, or brace to limit movement of the great toe as you heal.

Turf Toe Yoga Injury

“Turf toe” is a ligament sprain in the big toe joint, and it often occurs when transitioning to or from the classic “Hero” pose. Instructors may advise practitioners to do this pose with the toes untucked to avoid injury. Symptoms include swelling and pain at the joint, with particular tenderness when bending the toe or pulling it upward. Icing and applying compression bandages for 10 minutes at a time will help reduce inflammation and support the toe. At our sports medicine clinic, we may X-ray the toe to rule out fracture. We can apply electrotherapy to reduce pain and allow you to bear weight sooner. We also have a number of exercises that will strengthen and rehabilitate the toe after a few days, once you are able to bear weight again.

Yoga Injury Treatment In NYC

For help healing from a yoga foot injury in New York City, contact a world-class podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.