Can Yoga help with Arthritis?
By Lubna Sheikh on 24th April 2017
A life spent coping with arthritis pain is not something that anyone would like to happen to them. Across the world, any people suffer the aches and pains of damaged or inflamed joints. Some people find these aches and pains uncomfortable, and some people become almost crippled as a result of this debilitating disease.
Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, in areas where two or more bones meet. There are several different parts of the joint that may be affected by arthritis, such as cartilage, synovium, tendons, and muscles. The adjacent ends of bones that form the joints are covered by a soft, protective material called cartilage that protects the bones and prevents them from rubbing together. This joint is contained in a capsule and lined with a tissue called synovium.
The generic term “arthritis” (or “rheumatism”) includes over 100 diseases that pertain to inflammation of joints and discomfort in connective tissues throughout the body.
Arthritis is a frequent conversational topic because it affects so many people – if you’re not affected by it yourself, you probably know a sufferer, often someone in your own family. Approximately 1 in 8 people globally have arthritis in some form or other and finding pain relief for this terrible condition high in most sufferers’ minds. It could mean taking a pill, performing gentle exercises, stretching or trying some other means to obtain relief such as yoga.
How Yoga can help with Arthritis
Yoga is an ancient practice using a system of postures and breath controls, which aim to achieve the perfect union of body, mind, and spirit. Yoga can be customised to help with a wide range of conditions including chronic pain conditions such migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and arthritis.
Yoga for arthritis pain relief does not necessarily mean bending and contorting the body into weird and impossible positions just to get comfort from the pain. It is often enough that a person suffering from arthritis may practice breathing and self-awareness, the core of yoga practices.
While stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose.
The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.
Yoga poses can be tailored for different joints. A common arthritic problem is swelling of the fingers and knuckle joints. In this case, if the condition is not too severe and the person suffers mild to moderate pain, a series of poses can be worked on that lengthen and spread the fingers.
Hand stretches also create energy flow to the area that eventually moves to the fingers. Experts say that the heat is really good to the joints. As a therapeutic practice, yoga helps a person create heat through deliberate breathing and movement.
About the author of this article
My name is Lubna and I am a Holistic Food Coach, Natural Chef, Massage Specialist & Yoga teacher. I am passionate about your health and well-being. Now, health and well-being is my life! I practice yoga every morning. I attend and support my community fitness centre and I have recently learned how to swim.