Treating Arthritis With Yoga

Arthritis is such a prevalent disease that we tend to take it for granted and not too seriously. In fact in the USA alone there are some 75 million sufferers and this number is growing each year (1 in 4). It comes in many forms but the two most common forms of arthritis are osteo and rheumatoid – both painful and unpleasant to have to live with. It certainly seems that there is a genetic component to arthritis as it can run in whole families.

In my own family of four siblings – three of us have it and one doesn’t. Luckily ours is a less aggressive form but still can be painful if not managed with something simple and natural like green lipped mussel or glucosamine. Another natural means of treating arthritis includes exercise but when your joints are painful, stiff and sometime swollen, trying to do exercise can be completely out of the question. Yes – there are certain prescribed anti-inflammatory medicines but these can have unpleasant side effects so should only be taken under strict guidance from you doctor.

If you are keen to use a natural method of treatment then I suggest trying yoga. Now before you panic and think I’m recommending something extreme – think again. Yoga is an ancient form of meditation and bodily flexing. It is extremely gentle yet effective on the body so far less likely to hurt your arthritic joints. Loss of muscle tone and body strength is common amongst arthritis sufferers and yoga can help overcome this.

Scientific reporting on the benefits of yoga for arthritis sufferers is still in it’s infancy but of that which has been investigated the results have been positive. Most sufferers who have participated had an increased sense of well being – improvement in joint mobility and increased vigor. The main practical benefits of yoga for arthritis sufferers are low joint stress, maintenance of overall strength and less pain overall.

The psychological benefits can be exceptional with sufferers reporting a general increase in positiveness about their condition and overall well being. Yoga is great for stress and can be used as an everyday tool in this respect. Rheumatoid arthritis responds especially well to yoga as it can slow down the progression of the condition. It can be a wonderfully relaxing therapy for people who are in pain. Many keep the practice up as it is so beneficial in the long run.

Yoga is known for assisting in weight loss and improving muscle tone so as you lose pounds and firm up your figure the pressure on joints and hips becomes less and the arthritis is relieved.

As you pursue natural alternative treatments for arthritis a key component should be exercise and in particular yoga for all the many benefits mentioned above.