Yoga, an activity that combines meditation, breathing techniques and exercise, has been used to boost mental and physical health for more than 5000 years. But does it really reduce the symptoms of arthritis like stiffness or pain and psychological issues? Of course. Scientific research has repeatedly proven that yoga can help those suffering from arthritis alleviate or improve many psychological and physical symptoms that come with the condition. Such include promoting better sleep, improving joint pain, reducing pain and improving flexibility of the joints. While it does come in various forms, the general idea of yoga is to position the body in many poses, with meditation and breathing exercises.
While the benefits of yoga are obvious, there are only a few studies that have been done regarding yoga and arthritis. Early studies showed that yoga has capability to improve mental and physical wellbeing of those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Research also found that people with arthritis find yoga more enjoyable compared to other forms of exercises and this serves as an important adherence predictor. A recent study conducted at the John Hopkins Arthritis Center provided critical evidence showing just how important it is to practice mental and physical exercise especially in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Benefits that were observed after the 8-week program were still there 9 months after the study. The exercises were modified depending on individual needs and poses practiced during that period include lying, sitting, standing, balances, twists, backbends and forward bends. Standardization of the poses allowed gradual progression of the patients. The patients were also tasked with doing some poses when they were at home.
Yoga can be a great alternative for other vigorous exercises especially for patients with arthritis. Not only does it reduce physical pain and disability, but it also reduces stress and frustration thus promoting general wellbeing. And despite improved medication for arthritis, the truth remains that it cannot be treated. This increases the necessity for additional activities to help patients take control of the overall impact of arthritis on their lives like stress and frustration, disability and pain. Scientific research has been able to show that if combined with other treatment programs and medication, yoga can offer a whole lot of psychological and physical health benefits for people with arthritis.
Are you suffering from arthritis or do you know someone who is? Take advantage of the benefits that yoga can offer by enrolling for an IGO yoga class today. Simply click on the link below to a redeem a free class. (offer only available for new clients only, Terms & Conditions apply).