Do you feel rigidity in the joints, especially when you have been inactive for a long time? Do your joints make a crackling sound often with movement? Do you feel deep joint pain that worsens with movement and gets better for a while after rest? If you have answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, you must consult your doctor and get checked for arthritis.
With the kind of lifestyle being led these days, arthritis is no longer a disease associated only with the elderly, it has become very common even among children, teenagers, young and middle-aged adults.
What is Arthritis?
It is a form of disease found in joints, causing inflammation and intolerable pain. The pain due to inflammation occurring around the joints in the human body may be due to wear and tear of bones, muscle strains in joints, loss of flexibility, damage to joints, and stiffness. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. The pain experiences may vary from person to person.
Is Yoga Beneficial for Arthritis?
Studies have shown that yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, which also has psychological benefits due to its meditative nature. Like most exercise forms, it increases muscle strength, promotes balance and improves flexibility.
Yoga has been associated with a wide range of physical and psychological benefits that are very helpful for persons living with a chronic illness such as arthritis.
6 Yogasanas* for Arthritis
Below are some asanas for patients living with the terrible pain of arthritis:
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It stimulates blood circulation making the body energetic and toning the muscles and making them strong. It also helps in the production of synovial fluid which helps to lubricate aching joints and reduces friction.
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In this pose you stretch the hips to a significant degree and therefore it is beneficial for low back pain caused due to arthritis. It strengthens and tones the arms, legs and lower back while improving balance in the body and increases stamina.
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This asana is great to tone the muscles of the thighs, hips and arms. It increases blood circulation around the joints in the knees, ankles and elbows and thereby strengthens them. Due to the increased circulation with regular practice it brings the joints back into equilibrium making them more flexible. It gives a 360 degree stretch, which is essential when a person is suffering from arthritis.
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By doing this asana, flexibility of the spine is promoted. It corrects the alignment, and relieves pain and disorders of the neck and shoulder. It strengthens legs, knees, ankles and the chest. It is perfect for people who suffer from stiffness of joints.
Since this asana works exclusively on the spine and hip joints, it provides great relief for arthritis patients. It helps relieve pain, stiffness and discomfort in these regions and also resolves any disorders associated with the neck, arms and palms. It also helps the thighs and lower part of back. This pose makes you support yourself on the knees in inverted position.
By performing this asana, balance and stability in the leg improves and ligaments get strengthened. It assists body in establishing pelvic stability. The hip bones are also strengthened.
Meditation for Arthritis Pain Relief
Would you believe that something as simple as taking a few minutes each day to stop, think, breathe and focus on your physical and psychological state can relieve your aching joints? Yes, meditation is a natural treatment option for arthritis.
Through meditation you relax the mind and body and deal with thoughts around pain and try reducing them, which otherwise has great psychological impact. It enables you to release tensions and tap into a positive outlook even while you may physically be undergoing pain.
- Mindfulness Meditation
Focus on being in the moment, or on a specific feeling. Become more present with ourselves just as we are, this awakens within us the inherent wisdom to escape from pain and discomfort.
- Guided Imagery
A convenient and simple relaxation technique to reduce stress is by envisioning yourself in the midst of the most relaxing environment you can imagine. Try and involve all your senses by feeling the image you have focused on. Get immersed in this dreamy state for as long as you can while enjoying your surroundings.
Breathing exercises like Kapalbhati pranayam, Bhastrika Pranayam and NadiShodhan pranayam play a big role in easing out stress, thereby reducing joint stiffness.
Arthritis is a degenerative disease so don’t wait till the pain gets worse. Start these yogasanas today and let us know in the comments if it has helped with improving the flexibility of your body and reduced joint pain.