Rheumatoid Arthritis And Yoga Poses

By Patricia | December 11, 2008
Yoga For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Contrary to popular perception, arthritis is not a joint problem that only affects old people. In fact, the term arthritis actually encompasses more than 100 diseases that result in inflammation of the joints. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people around the world. The incidence of this condition is higher in women than in men. In Rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system begins to attack the tissue that lines the joints. When this lining is depleted, the bones rub against each other rendering any movement of the affected joint extremely painful. If unchecked, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to a limited range of motion and a permanent disability of the affected limbs.

Regular practice of Yoga helps to strengthen the muscles and the joints and can help you to deal with the debilitating effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The benefits of Yoga on rheumatoid arthritis have been documented by various scientific and medical journals and research is increasingly showing us that Yoga can be one of the most effective alternative therapies in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.

Let us take a look at some of the basic Yoga poses that are beneficial in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Single Leg Raises: Single leg raises help to exercise and strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and lower back. This helps to stretch the body and alleviates back pain.

Shoulder Stretches: Shoulder stretches help to relive stiffness and tension from the shoulder and neck muscles.

Standing Side Stretch: This simple, yet powerful posture when performed correctly helps to stretch the entire body and loosen up any sore muscles.

Wrist Bends: Rheumatoid arthritis can be particularly harsh on the wrists. Relieve the soreness and help your wrists to heal by performing simple wrist bends.

Ankle Bends: Another joint that is often affected by rheumatoid arthritis are the ankles. Simple ankle bends will help to offset some of the pain and soreness that is inflicted by arthritis.

The Corpse Pose: The Corpse pose, or Shava Asana, is one of the best methods of allowing your body to relax and let go of the pain inflicted by rheumatoid arthritis.

Do remember to consult your doctor before starting any new form of exercise, especially if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a good idea to let your Yoga instructor know about your condition as he or she may be able to guide you towards specific postures and routines that are especially effective at dealing with arthritis.

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