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Precautions Arthritis Patients Must Take While Doing Yoga

Patients need to practice Yoga to reduce pain, disability and reduce the overall impact that arthritis may have on their lives

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Yoga is a form ancient medicine which focuses on breathing and meditation along with physical exercise. It helps in boosting physical and mental health. It also plays a proactive role in dealing with a number of diseases. It is known to provide relief in respiratory disorders as well as physical stiffness.

Yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity. It also provides a number of psychological benefits due to its meditative nature. Yoga can increase muscle strength, improve flexibility, enhance respiratory endurance, and promote balance. Yoga is also associated with increased energy and fewer bodily aches and pains. It helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and psychological stress.

Arthritis refers to pain in the joints. It can be categorised in a number of forms. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. Like many other ailments, Yoga’s unique characteristics help in getting relief from arthritis as well. It is proven to help in improving many physical and psychological symptoms of arthritis.

It is important to take certain precautions while practising Yoga to treat arthritis. The disease does not follow a steady, progressive course. Instead, sufferers experience flare-ups followed by remission. Yoga practice suitable for someone in the remission stage is different from someone experiencing an active flare-up. As the disease progresses, joints become more unstable and the patient’s range of motion is restricted.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic (long-lasting) joint condition.OA occurs most often in older people. But it can occur in adults of any age. OA is also called degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, and wear-and-tear arthritis.Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and damage throughout your body. Physical activity is an essential part of the effective treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The Asanas recommended for those with osteoarthritis and those with RA are different. It is important that one has complete clarity on it. Holding poses for a long time to strengthen static muscles is recommended for osteoarthritis. However, it should be avoided for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

People with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should avoid high intensity exercises, prolonged weight-bearing exercises, and prolonged immobility in seated or lying positions. Pranayama and smooth motions are well suited for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

In any form of arthritis physical exercise is a must. Being sedentary leads to increased pain. This further limits physical activity leading to greater pain and disability. 

Patients need to practice Yoga to reduce pain, disability and reduce the overall impact that arthritis may have on their lives. One must take an expert’s advice before practising it, to reap the benefits.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Dr Ashwini Konnur

The author is BAMS, YIC, CFN In-house Ayurvedic Consultant, AyurUniverse

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