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Can you do a backbend or bend down and touch your toes? Do you know someone who is in their late 60s and still runs 2-3 km a day? A rare sight, isn’t it? But, very much possible if you do yoga regularly! Yoga helps keep the joints flexible, moving, and healthy, even when you age. At Jiva, we have treated thousands of patients with regular yoga practice and Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis. In fact, a lot of doctors’ advise patients to do yoga along with conventional arthritis treatment. If you want to live a pain-free life and protect your joints from deteriorating, yoga can help you in doing so. In this blog, we’re going to tell you how yoga can help prevent and manage chronic and debilitating conditions like arthritis.
Arthritis is a disease that affects your joints causing pain, swelling and stiffness. This happens because of inflammation or degeneration of your joints. There are two main types of arthritis – Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). They can affect different joints of your body and the symptoms may worsen with age. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the neck, lower back and weight-bearing joints like hips and knees. Rheumatoid arthritis mainly affects smaller and multiple joints of the body including fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hands, feet, ankle and toe. You cannot control risk factors like age, sex, and genetics but can pay attention to factors like overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, joint injuries and poor diet.
In recent times, yoga has gained popularity in India as well as in the west but its origin can be traced over 5000 years ago. The yoga asanas that were introduced by rishi munis thousand years ago still do similar wonders for the health and well-being of people. There are different yoga forms and yoga asanas that suit the different needs of individuals. Yoga is the most gentle, safest and relaxing exercise form, good for bone health. It can be practised by people of all age groups, both men and women, under the supervision of a qualified yoga practitioner. It has several advantages for arthritis, a few of them are mentioned below –
People with arthritis experience joint stiffness and soreness therefore regular yoga can help in making joints flexible and improve the body posture. Yoga asanas stretch your muscles and improve your range of motion. They also increase lubrication around the joints that help slow down the breakdown of cartilage which is often the cause of arthritis pain.
Arthritis conditions, both RA and OA, make your joints stiff and sore which makes you prone to getting injuries. Regular yoga practice strengthens the joints and muscles, improves balance and posture and makes them flexible, reducing the chance of getting an injury. Even if you fall or experience any injury, with regular yoga practice, the chances of recovery get faster and better.
Many people limit their movement due to arthritis symptoms but it is important to note that limiting physical movement can worsen joint pain and stiffness. It can decrease your pain tolerance and range of motion and can result in weak muscles, poor balance and stiff joints. All these issues can be effectively managed with yoga.
Arthritis pain and restricted movement can make you feel anxious, stressed and worried, especially rheumatoid arthritis patients who wake up with sore and stiff joints in the morning. Day-to-day functions like kneading the flour and closing shirt buttons get difficult for RA patients. Around 80 percent of arthritis patients also have trouble sleeping. Yoga helps release tension off your muscles that help you feel more relaxed. It calms your anxious brain and lowers your stress levels thereby inducing a good night’s sleep.
If you want to learn yoga asanas to keep your joints flexible, strong and moving, you can consult our expert yoga practitioners and Ayurvedic doctors. They will suggest you a root cause based personalised Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis along with a diet plan and yoga practices that suit you.
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