Yoga is thought to have many benefits, and one of these is arthritis improvement.
But can regular yoga practice actually help improve degenerative joint diseases like arthritis?
Continue reading to find out more about yoga for arthritis and the research proving the benefits of yoga for people with arthritis.
Yoga Has Many Benefits
Many people attend yoga classes because it’s a gentle, yet effective, form of exercise. It can reduce muscular tension and improve flexibility in both muscles and joints.
Yoga is a great form of exercise for people who have arthritis because all the movements can be adapted to suit individual flexibility and injuries. Yoga is enjoyable; you get a full-body workout without putting a huge strain on your joints like you would from jogging, for example.
People who practice yoga regularly are in a good state of mind and generally eat healthier, so they remain at a healthy weight. Remaining at a healthy weight is a key factor in the management of arthritis.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is not a single disease, it is a common term for degenerative joint diseases. This disease can affect one joint, or multiple joints throughout the body.
It can cause secondary illnesses and inflammation in other areas of the body, too.
There are many types of arthritis. The most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious arthritis. No matter which type of arthritis you have, yoga can help with the symptoms.
Can Yoga Fix Arthritis?
Once your body develops arthritis, you can’t just simply fix it. What you can do is slow down the degeneration of your joints and help alleviate the symptoms that come with arthritis.
This will slow down the rate the arthritis is damaging your joints, and therefore improve your long-term health.
A professor from the University of Pennsylvania, Sharon Kolasinski, found an improvement in pain, joint stiffness, and function in arthritic knee joints after 8 weeks of yoga classes. These yoga classes were modified for people with a limited range of motion in the knee joints. This study was published in 2005.
But there is more modern research to complement that. A researcher from the University of California, Subhadra Evans, also found an improvement in pain management, mood, and joint function in women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This study was published in 2013.
So although there is no ‘fix’ for arthritis, yoga can significantly improve symptoms and lift your mood to help you cope with arthritis.
Yoga for Arthritis: How Does It Help?
Arthritis causes unstable joints, pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the affected area.
Yoga builds muscle in all areas of the body. This means your arthritic joints will be supported by the muscle you build from yoga. In turn, your joints will be more stable and able to cope with the degeneration from arthritis.
Chronic arthritis sufferers may experience a decrease in energy, movement, and mood due to being in pain over an extended period of time.
Yoga will help to improve your mood, also. It is likened to a session of mindfulness. When you are in a yoga class, you focus on the movements and breathing exercises and leave the class feeling positive and relaxed.
Heart disease is a risk factor for developing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Yoga also has a positive influence on metabolic processes with people who have type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, it decreases the chance of developing cardiovascular diseases. Any exercise, including yoga, improves the blood circulation and production of red blood cells. Yoga also helps the lymphatic system drain toxins from the body.
Weight gain and high BMI are associated with arthritis due to the pain and inflammation in joints. Overweight people are at higher risk of developing arthritis because of the extra strain placed on their joints.
Attending regular yoga classes promotes healthy weight loss and the building of lean muscle tissue. This contributes to the loss of body fat and an overall change in body composition.
Types of Yoga Suitable for People With Arthritis
If you live in London, then visit our studio so we can get you started on a suitable program. We also offer online classes for those who live further away. Beginner or gentle yoga is most suitable for people with arthritis, especially to begin with.
Once you are more flexible, stronger, and know the poses, you may be able to progress to an intermediate or advanced yoga class.
Many yoga instructors are also physiotherapists and can work through joint-friendly yoga movements with you.
Attending a regular yoga class will improve your arthritis symptoms and your mood. You will have more energy and range of motion in day-to-day life.
Start yoga for arthritis today!
We offer a range of classes and we can tailor them to your specific medical needs to help you with your arthritis symptoms.
Contact us for more information about the classes we run and how we can help with your arthritis.