What is arthritis?
Arthritis is very common among us and occurs more frequently as we get older. Do we really understand about this disease? Actually, “arthritis” is not a single disease, it is an informal way referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling , pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and they can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay around for some years, but may progress or worsen over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb.
How yoga can prevent it?
Through yoga, you can preserve your joint function, mobility and quality of life. Yoga is not just a series of movements. It also involves meditation and techniques for breathing that increase oxygen in all parts of the body.
A recent study of people with various types of arthritis shows that regular yoga practice can help reduce joint pain, improve joint flexibility and function and lower stress and tension to promote better sleep.
One study shows that taking a 1 hour and 30 minutes yoga class once a week for eight weeks, reports significant reductions in pain and improvements in physical function, as well as noticeable improvements in joint stiffness. Yoga poses are modified to accommodate some of the subject’s limitations. Yoga also can help a person with arthritis build muscle strength and improve balance. In addition, yoga offers people with arthritis ,a form of exercise that is enjoyable enough to do regularly.
There’s a study also which is conducted by health professionals including experts in rheumatology, psychology, public health and yoga therapy. It provides critical evidence showing that people with arthritis who are sedentary, yoga appears to be safe, feasible, and enjoyable for people with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and that it results in important physical and mental health benefits for people who practice it regularly. Almost all benefits in the patients after they completed an 8-week program are still evident 9 months later including walking speed and physical function.
Yoga will be a meaningful and enjoyable alternative to traditional forms of exercise such as aerobics or aquatic exercise with important health benefits. Yoga plays an important role in reducing stress and frustrations that results from pain and disability, and increasing positive feelings and well-being.
Although arthritis cannot be cured, we need yoga to reduce pain, disability and take control of the overall impact arthritis may have on our lives.
If you are interested in learning about yoga, feel free to contact me.
Important Note: Before starting a yoga regimen, speak to your rheumatologist or primary-care physician to ensure that yoga is right for you.